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Weijs-Perree lead a team that investigated how university employees and students use spaces for face-to-face interactions.  They determined via data collected at a building at a Dutch university that “students more often interacted in meeting rooms than teaching staff, and support staff interacted less in eat/drink areas and the hallways than other users. . . . it is important that sufficient meeting rooms and concentration rooms for students are designed, as this user group uses these spaces more often compared to employees, who have more interactions at their workplace. It is also important that the more informal areas (e.g. canteen/café) are also made attractive for employees, so that spontaneous encounters between students and employees and different departments are promoted. . . .the original workplace concept of the . . . building [where data were collected] was based on the ABO [activity-based office] concept. However, in practice, the building is still used in a traditional way (i.e., fixed workplaces) by part of its users (i.e., some of the academic staff).”    

Minou Weijs-Perree, Lorell Buck, Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek, and Theo Arentze.  2019.  “Location Choices of Face-to-Face Interactions in Academic Buildings:  An Experience Sampling Approach.”  Ergonomics, vol. 62, no. 12, pp. 1499-1514,

Maille and colleagues probed product “graspability.”  The team reports that “People like graspable objects more when the objects are located on the dominant-hand side of their body or when the handles point toward their dominant-hand side. However, many products do not have handles or are not graspable (e.g., services, objects hanging on the wall). Can nongraspable products nevertheless benefit from the effects of appealing to viewers’ dominant hands? The present research shows that, yes, consumers respond more positively to nongraspable products if a haptic cue (an object that is graspable or suggestive of hand action) is located within the same visual field as the target and is positioned to appeal to the viewer’s dominant hand. This result is driven by the creation and transfer of perceived ownership from cue to target.”

Virginie Maille, Maureen Morrin, and Ryann Reynolds-McIlnay.  “On the Other Hand . . . :  Enhancing Promotional Effectiveness with Haptic Cues.” Journal of Marketing Research, in press,

Greer and team studied how music influences humans emotionally.  They report that “Musical features related to dynamics [loudness], register, rhythm, and harmony were found to be particularly helpful in predicting these human [emotional] reactions.”  In other words, particular aspects of music influence how we think and behave in certain ways. Changes in rhythm, loudness, timbre, and the instruments in use (for example, the introduction of a new one), made emotional responses more significant, particularly when the new condition was a significant contrast with the original one.  For example, changes in volume make a piece more emotionally powerful.  Also, it seems that the more instruments in use, the stronger the emotional response to music heard.  Volunteers listed to three pieces of unfamiliar music without lyrics and physiological and other data were collected.  

Timothy Greer, Benjamin Ma, Matthew Sachs, Assal Habibi, and Shrikanth Narayanan.  2019.  “A Multimodal View Into Music’s Effect on Human Neural, Physiological, and Emotional Experience. Proceedings of the 27thACM International Conference on Multimedia.  Nice, France, October 21-25, pp. 167-175, doi: 10.1145/3343031.3350867

Wang, Liao, Lyckvi, and Chen studied the different implications of using visual and auditory alarms.  They determined via “data from two simulator studies . . . where the visual vs. the auditory modality was used to present the same type of advisory traffic information under the same driving scenarios. . . . that modality influences the drivers' behaviour patterns significantly. Visual information helps drivers to drive more accurately and efficiently, whereas auditory information supports quicker responses. This suggests that there are potential benefits in applying both modalities in tandem, as they complement each other.”

Minjuan Wang, Yuan Liao, Sus Lyckvi, and Fang Chen.  “How Drivers Respond to Visual Vs. Auditory Information in Advisory Traffic Information Systems.”  Behaviour and Information Technology, in press,

A research team lead by Marschallek studied links between the personality factor need for uniqueness and visual aesthetic sensitivity.  The investigators asked study “participants to complete the German adaptation of the Need for Uniqueness scale (NfU-G) and the Visual Aesthetic Sensitivity Test (VAST)—including the VAST-Revised (VAST-R). The NfU-G measures the need to set oneself apart from others, whereas the VAST(-R) tests the ability to identify the objective aesthetic goodness of a figural composition. . . . the higher a participant scores on the NfU-G scale, the lower the percentage of correctly identified drawings on the VAST(-R). . . . Thus, the results suggest that participants who strive for individuality exhibit lower visual aesthetic sensitivity since they tend to violate norms in order to assert their uniqueness.”

Barbara Marschallek, Selina Weiler, Mona Jorg, and Thomas Jacobson.  “Make It Special!  Negative Correlations Between the Need for Uniqueness and Visual Aesthetic Sensitivity.” Empirical Studies of the Arts, in press,

Park and Evans assessed the current relevance of Lynch’s work.  They share that “Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City (1960) identified five physical elements—path, edge, district, node, and landmark—that are the building blocks of place.  Both the physical and sociocultural function of these elements, along with their locations, affects how we comprehend (legibility) and generate meaning of place (imageability). . . . dependence on LBS [location-based services, online applications that reflect users’ geographic locations and include navigation apps . . local weather functions. . . augmented reality games (e.g., Pokemon Go)] for wayfinding undermines the significance of local landmarks and other elements. . . . Snapshot information, such as pictures featured on LBS, often lack context and are devoid of kinetic and other sensory information.  Virtual exposure to geotagged pictures therefore can help build an image of the city but not necessarily contribute to its legibility.”

Giyoung Park and Gary Evans.  2018.  “Lynch’s Elements of the City in the Digital Era.”  Journal of the American Planning Association, vol. 84, no. 3-4, pp. 276-278,

Gold and colleagues establish that with music, as with other sensory stimuli, sometimes not straying too far from expectations is best.  The researchers found that “as music manipulates patterns of melody, rhythm, and more, it proficiently exploits our expectations. Given the importance of anticipating and adapting to our ever-changing environments, making and evaluating uncertain predictions can have strong emotional effects. Accordingly, we present evidence that listeners consistently prefer music of intermediate predictive complexity, and that preferences shift towards expected musical outcomes in more uncertain contexts.”  

Benjamin Gold, Marcus Pearce, Ernest Mas-Herrero, Alain Dagher, and Robert Zatorre. “Predictability and Uncertainty in the Pleasure of Music:  A Reward for Learning?  JNeurosci, in press,

Roose and colleagues studied how the position of horizons in images influence thought processes.  They report that “when consumers adopt an abstract processing style (broad perspective), they attach more weight to the advantages of a remote situation . . . and they exhibit increased moral behavior . . . and willingness to pay. . . . Consequently, for marketers engaged in fundraising, promoting long‐term beneficial products, or seeking to encourage a broad scope among consumers, their advertising stimuli should evoke abstract processing, and we reveal that it may be advisable for them to include a panoramic picture with a low horizon [relatively close to bottom of image]. . . . a concrete style of processing . . . helps people make compromises because a concrete mindset emphasizes difficulties, costs, and situational pressures. . . . For products marketed mainly as preventatives for instant difficulties or costs, marketers thus might develop panoramic advertisements with a high horizon to evoke concrete processing.”  Images used to gather data were of nature scenes.

Gudrun Roose, Iris Vermeir, Maggie Geuens, and Anneleen Van Kerckhoe. 2019.  “A Match Made in Heaven or Down Under?  The Effectiveness of Matching Visual and Verbal Horizons in Advertising.”  Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 411-427,

Trujillo and Howley looked at relationships between climate and crime levels; their findings indicate the importance of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Torrid Zones and of tailoring CPTED features to an area.  The research team “investigates the relationship between weather and crime in Barranquilla, Colombia, a city in the Torrid Zone, which in contrast to more commonly studied temperate zones is hot and humid year-round. Our analysis is based on daily variations in four weather variables (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speed) and two indicators of criminal activity, namely, homicides and interpersonal violence. . . . we do not find any statistically significant relationship between weather patterns and homicides. However, we find that weather can be an important predictor of interpersonal violence in this area. These findings draw attention to the importance of considering weather factors when designing a long-run urban security policy in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.”

Juan Trujillo and Peter Howley.  “The Effect of Weather on Crime in a Torrid Urban Zone.” Environment and Behavior, in press,

Vallen and colleagues have noted an interesting relationship between consumer physical forms and recommendations made to them; future studies that indicate if their findings can be applied in other contexts will be useful.  The Vallen-lead team found that “This research demonstrates that a consumer's physical appearance—and, more specifically, his or her body size—predictably influences the product(s) that the consumeris recommended. Four studies conducted in both field and lab settings show that agents more frequently recommend round (vs. angular) shaped products to heavier targets, notably for products and categories in which body size is irrelevant (e.g., lamps and perfume). We attribute this to a combination of shape‐congruency and trait‐congruency, whereby individuals choose products for others based on shared dimensions of the person and product.”

Beth Vallen, Karthik Sridhar, Dan Rubin, Veronika Ilyuk, Lauren Block, and Jennifer Argo.  2019. “Shape- and Trait-Congruency: Using Appearance-Based Cues as a Basis for Product Recommendations.”  Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 271-284,


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