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Leung and colleagues studied individuals’ responses to automation.  They determined that  “Automation often provides obvious consumption benefits, but six studies spanning a variety of product categories show that automation may not be desirable when identity motives are important drivers of consumption. Using both correlational and experimental designs, these studies demonstrate that people who strongly identify with a particular social category resist automated features that hinder the attribution of identity-relevant consumption outcomes to themselves.”  For more on identity, review this webpage:

Eugina Leung, Gabriele Paolacci, and Stefano Puntoni. 2018.  “Man Versus Machine:  Resisting Automation in Identity-Based Consumer Behavior.”  Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 818-831,

There are clear advantages to exercising in green environments.  Wooller and colleagues determined that when “Fifty participants were randomly assigned to one of five groups: REST [sitting quietly on a cycle ergometer in front of a gray screen], exercise, exercise with nature sounds, exercise withnature visual and exercise with nature sound and visual. . . . Results showed that green exercise improved mood and stress scores more than exercise alone or REST. For both TMD [total mood disturbance] and perceived stress, improvements in all simulated nature conditions were significantly improved compared to REST or exercise alone immediately post intervention.”

John Wooller, Mike Rogerson, Jo Barton, Dominic Micklewright, and Valerie Gladwell. 2018.  “Can Simulated Green Exercise Improve Recovery from Acute Mental Stress?”  Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, article 2167,

Zolch and colleagues studied how the presence of plants influences comfort in public squares, and their findings are applicable in many outdoor spaces.  The team learned that “At daytime designs with a maximum shaded area provide best thermal conditions. . . . At night unhindered air flow and reduced heat storage in meadows performed best.”  More details on the Zolch-lead study: “The present study assessed typical greening designs of rectangular public squares and their microclimatic influences during a hot summer day both during day and night-time conditions. . . . for a comfortable thermal situation a climate adapted design has to include trees to maximize the shaded surface areas, while the main wind channel is kept free from trees, but planted with grass to minimize the heat storage. The number of trees and their placement together with the extent and placement of grass areas can thus serve as indicators for designing climate adapted public squares.”

Teresa Zolch, Mohammad Rahman, Elisabeth Pfleiderer, Georg Wagner, and Stephan Pauleit.  “Designing Public Squares with Green Infrastructure to Optimize Human Thermal Comfort.”  Building and Environment, in press,

Dennis and colleagues investigated links between gender and shopping style and their findings have implications for retail design when it is more likely that a particular gender will shop at a particular website/location/etc.  The team determined that their “survey of shopping behavior across 11 countries indicate though that men and women are evolutionarily predisposed to different shopping styles. . . . Our results show that men’s and women’s shopping styles reflect their respective, evolutionarily determined, and societal roles as hunters and gatherers. . . . Male shoppers behave like ‘hunters’: They tend to be needs-driven and seek to minimize the amount of time required to make a purchase. They can do so because they are hardwired to be good systemizers. Analogously, women are hardwired to rely on their ability to empathize to interpret social situations, including shopping trips. . . . Because greater gender equality (and prosperity) makes women less dependent on men, in high-gender-equality countries, men and women are ‘truer’ to their evolutionarily determined characters, at least when it comes to shopping.”

Charles Dennis, J. Brakus, Gemma Ferrer, Charles McIntyre, Eleftherios Alamanos, and Tamira King. 2018.  “A Cross-National Study of Evolutionary Origins of Gender Shopping Styles: She Gatherer, He Hunter?” Journal of International Marketing, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 38-53,

Fay, Cai, and Real reviewed empirical peer-reviewed studies related to decentralized nursing stations (DNSs) published in the last 15 years.  They determined that “(a) there is a positive trend toward patient experience in units with DNS, (b) nursing teamwork was perceived to decline in units with DNS . . . and (d) there is no consistent categorization of nurse station typology or standard definition for DNS.. . .Based on the evaluation framework, DNS are supportive of the patient experience yet have a negative impact on nursing teamwork.”

Lindsey Fay, Hui Cai, and Kevin Real.  “A Systematic Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Decentralized Nursing Stations.” HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press,

Research conducted with children may indicate a way to at least partially compensate for lack of nature views in areas where people are likely to feel stressed.  Pearson and team collected data from pediatric hospital patients (2-18 years old) who were assigned to hospital rooms that either had no applique like overlays that partially covered the windows of their rooms or realistic overlays on their windows that were reminiscent of an undersea environment (“aquatic animals and sea plants”) or a wooded meadow (“greenery, trees, and grass”). The window in each room looked out onto a courtyard “with minimal landscaping. . . . Neither the landscape below nor the sky above were visible from the participants’ beds.” The researchers determined that “Patients in the rooms with murals [these are the ones with the overlays] were found to have improvements in heart rate and systolic blood pressure. . . .  patients in tree murals rooms had the most health-related outcomes. . . . the tree [mural covered] 45.23% of the window and the fish mural covering 51.77% of the window. The design of the window murals still allows for adequate natural daylight and has visual connection to the outdoors via the existing windows. . . . The mean change in systolic blood pressure was significantly greater in the rooms with tree murals than the control group on Day 2 (24–48 hr). The difference in means of change between the control group and the fish group was not significant. . . . the installation of window murals may mimic the effects of actual nature scenes.”

Michelle Pearson, Kristi Gaines, Debajyoti Pati, Malinda Colwell, Leslie Motheral, and Nicole Adams.  “The Physiological Impact of Window Murals on Pediatric Patients.” HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press,

Ueda and teammates evaluated links between audio pitch and perceptions of size.  They report that “information about the external world can be obtained from multisensory modalities and integrated. . . . we measured the correspondence between visual size and auditory pitch for each participant . . . participants were asked to resize virtual disks until they matched a corresponding sound; this was performed for five different frequencies. . . . the higher the pitch, the smaller the circle judged to match the sound.”

Sachiyo Ueda, Ayane Mizuguchi, Reiko Yakushijin, and Akira Ishiguchi.  “Effects of the Simultaneous Presentation of Corresponding Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Size Variance Perception.”  i-Perception, in press,

Anyone looking for a straightforward introduction to space syntax should read Haq’s recent article. As he states, “Space Syntax investigates layouts, seen in plan drawings; but this is done from mature theoretical arguments about function in those spaces. While theories of society were at the genesis of Space Syntax, it has branched into cognition, transportation, economics, and so on, and has been used to investigate buildings, cities, and regions. . . . This article concentrates on explaining the analytical techniques of Space Syntax. . . .  Since dedicated Space Syntax software can analyze vector drawings quickly, it is immediately useful to the practitioner. Layout proposals at different stages of design can be quickly evaluated, and changes made as needed and re-tested. Similarly, it can be a useful tool for Post Occupancy Evaluations to test the effect of layouts.”

Saif Haq.  “Where We Walk Is What We See:  Foundational Concepts and Analytical Techniques of Space Syntax.”  HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press,

Wu, Moore, and Fitzsimons studied decision-making.  They investigated “how consumers make unilateral decisions on behalf of the self and multiple others, in situations where the chosen option will be shared and consumed jointly by the group—for instance, choosing wine for the table. Results across six studies using three different choice contexts (wine, books, and movies) demonstrate that such choices are shaped by the decision-maker’s self-construal (independent versus interdependent) and by the size of the group being chosen for (large versus small). Specifically, we find that interdependent consumers consistently make choices that balance self and others’ preferences, regardless of group size.  In contrast, the choices of independent consumers differ depending on group size:  for smaller groups, independents make choices that balance self and others’ preferences, while for larger groups, they make choices that more strongly reflect their own preferences.”  People in more collectivistic cultures are likely to have more interdependent worldviews while those from more individualistic ones are more likely to have independent ones.

Eugenia Wu, Sarah Moore, and Gavan Fitzsimons.  “Wine for the Table:  Self-Construal, Group Size, and Choice for Self and Others.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press,

Researchers have learned more about how what is being viewed influences decisions made.  A press release from The Ohio State University reports that “Scientists using eye-tracking technology have found that what we look at helps guide our decisions when faced with two visible choices. . . .our gaze amplifies our desire for choices we already like.‘We don’t necessarily choose something just because we look at it more. . . . If we look at something we feel neutral about, our attention will have little effect,’ said Ian Krajbich, co-author of the study and assistant professor . . . at The Ohio State University.‘But if we look at something we already like, our attention makes us like it even more in that moment.’ . . . If you’re looking at two brands of an item you like at a store, the package that grabs and holds your attention will probably have an edge when you’re deciding which to buy.” The findings of Krajbich and his co-author, Stephanie Smith, will be published in Psychological Science.

“What Are You Looking At? How Attention Affects Decision-Making.” Press release, The Ohio State University,


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