White and his team wanted to learn more about visits to nature and people’s impressions of their own wellbeing. They share that “Focusing on urban/peri [near]-urban residents . . . from a nationally representative survey of the English population, we explored the relationships between . . . types of exposure . . . and . . . components of SWB [subjective wellbeing]. . . .
Research Design Connections
How can design encourage adolescents to ride bicycles? Verhoeven and her team answered that question via an online survey during which adolescents (average age about 14) “were asked to indicate which of two situations they would prefer to cycle to a friend’s house. The manipulated photographs were all modified versions of one semi-urban street which differed in the following physical micro-environmental attributes (separation of cycle path, evenness of cycle path, speed limit, speed bump, traffic density, amount of vegetation and maintenance). . . .
Parkinson and de Dear studied links between temperature and positive environmental experiences. They report that “the experiments presented in this paper and the prequels in this series point to the importance of context, in the indoor setting and also the bodily state of the occupant, in determining whether a given thermal environmental variation will be” felt to be pleasurable or unpleasant. Parkinson and de Dear share that “A pragmatic design solution to the . . . individual differences inherent in . . .
Consider using readily cleanable materials and mirrors together. Ackerman, Tybur, and Mortensen found that “pathogen cues [situations in which people were thinking about germs because of something they saw/heard/etc.] lead individuals chronically averse to germs to express greater concern about their own physical appearance. Correspondingly, these people exhibited behavioral intentions and decisions intended to conceal or improve their appearance.”
We prefer human-created to machine-generated art, except when we see robot artists at work. Chamberlain and her colleagues conducted several studies: “Study 1 tested observers’ ability to discriminate between computer-generated and man-made art, and then examined how categorization of art works impacted on perceived aesthetic value, revealing a bias against computer-generated art. In Study 2 this bias was reproduced in the context of robotic art; however, it was found to be reversed when observers were given the opportunity to see robotic artists in action.
Crowding is a subjective experience, in the same situation some people may feel crowded while others won’t. When we do feel crowded, we eat differently than we do when we don’t. Hock and Bagchi completed “six studies showing that crowding increases calorie consumption. These effects occur because crowding increases distraction, which hampers cognitive thinking and evokes more affective processing. When consumers process information affectively [emotionally], they consumer more calories.” When they feel crowded and are “given a choice between several different options, people select an
Having parks near workplaces where employees can walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime can be good for business—and so can creating an at-work space where people can do relaxation exercises. A Sianola-lead team reports that “park walk . . . and relaxation . . . groups were asked to complete a 15-min exercise during their lunch break on 10 consecutive working days. Afternoon well-being. . . [was] assessed twice a week before, during, and after the intervention, altogether for 5 weeks. . . . park walks at lunchtime were related to better concentration and less fatigue in the afternoon. . . .
Tenkanen and team wanted to learn more about park use and chose some interesting research methods to do so. The researchers report that they “compared data from Instagram, Twitter and Flickr, and assessed systematically how park popularity and temporal visitor counts derived from social media data perform against high-precision visitor statistics in 56 national parks in Finland and South Africa in 2014. We show that social media activity is highly associated with park popularity, and social media-based monthly visitation patterns match relatively well with the official visitor counts.
How abstract art is evaluated depends on nearby art. Tousignant and Bodner found when “average-beauty abstract target paintings were paired with either a low-beauty or a high-beauty context painting. . . . and . . . participants rated . . . context-target pairs. . . . Abstract paintings were deemed more beautiful when paired with the low-beauty (vs. high-beauty) paintings.” Study details: “context paintings were either of a similar (abstract) or different (representational) style, . . . context-target pairs were presented either sequentially or simultaneously.”