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What factors influence how we integrate information from multiple sources?  Scheller and Sui found that “When interacting with the environment, humans exhibit robust biases toward information that pertains to themselves: Self-relevant information is processed faster and yields more accurate responses than information linked to others. . . . the present findings suggest that social relevance can influence multisensory processing at both perceptual and postperceptual stages.”

Meike Scheller and Jie Sui.  “Social Relevance Modulates Multisensory Integration.”  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, in press, https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp000103

Grabalov and Nordh investigated future roles for current cemeteries.  They share that “the role of cemeteries in cities under densification pressure, such as Oslo and Copenhagen, is shifting. . . . cemeteries have the potential to become more public in the future. Based on the empirical material, we expect the cemeteries in these cities to maintain their spiritual dimension while becoming . . . more multifunctional and more multicultural. Over time, their role could become more diversified. . . . We demonstrate the potential of cemeteries’ contribution to the urban environment as multifunctional public spaces – the trajectory envisioned by Oslo and Copenhagen’s municipalities. . . . the case of urban cemeteries demonstrates that public space can also accommodate spirituality and facilitate reflections and contemplations – necessary and often neglected qualities in contemporary cities under densification pressure. This case exemplifies the need for diverse public spaces and recognition of various urban lifestyles and choices”

Pavel Grabalov and Helena Nordh. 2022. “The Future of Urban Cemeteries as Public Spaces:  Insights from Oslo and Copenhagen.”  Planning Theory and Practice, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 81-98, https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2021.1993973

Beeler and colleagues set out to learn more about how opinions are formed.  They focused on judgments of digital assistant technologies, but what they learned can no doubt be extrapolated to other contexts.  The investigators determined that “ability assessments are dependent upon both the use context (i.e., automation versus augmentation; disclosure of automation) and individual characteristics (i.e., consumer mood state and consumer preference for human interaction). . . . some consumers simply prefer people over technology, regardless of the technological capabilities of the digital assistant. Managers should consider offering a variety of potential customer interactions, as opposed to forcing customers to use digital assistants, as frustration can ensue from a failed technological interaction when no other alternatives (e.g., human interactions) are available. . . . companies should consider contexts in which negative moods may be likely. For example, a consumer employing the use of a digital assistant to play music in a high stress situation, such as rush hour traffic or when feeding a baby, may lead to more negative perceptions of the digital assistant’s ability.”

Lisa Beeler, Alex Zablah, and Adam Rapp.  2022. “Ability Is In the Eye of the Beholder:  How Context and Individual Factors Shape Consumer Perceptions of Digital Assistant Ability.”  Journal of Business Research, vol. 148, pp. 33-46, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.04.045

Huang, Wang, and Chan investigated how image sizes on packages influence assessments of contents; their findings may be applicable more broadly.  The investigators learned that “larger (vs. smaller) food images on food packages can positively influence consumers' initial product attitudes toward the food (i.e., purchase likelihood). . . . Compared with smaller food images, larger ones improve purchase likelihood. . . . this effect is only observed for vice (vs. virtue) foods.”

Jingya Huang, Liangyan Wang, and Eugene Chan.  2022. “Larger=More Attractive?  Image Size on Food Packages Influences Purchase Likelihood.”  Psychology and Marketing, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 1257-1266, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21644

Kah and teammates gathered information that can be immediately applied by people in the travel industry, among others.  They report that “Every destination needs to create a unique identity to sustain competition. . . . two single senses including vision and touch are most positively associated with all types of travel destination identity. . . . when combining the senses, the vision and smell are the most effective to create a travel destination identity rather [sic] combinations of vision and touch, which are effective senses when acting individually.”

Junghye Kah, Hye Shin, and Seong-Hoon Lee. 2022. “Traveler Sensoryscape Experiences and the Formation of Destination Identity.”  Tourism Geographies, vol. 24, no. 2-3, pp. 475-494, https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2020.1765015

Crawford and Juricevic studied the use of metaphors in art. They share that they “analyze[d] the literal and metaphorical use of the pictorial device of exaggerated size in 59 well-known works of art sampled from across history. Exaggerated size was chosen for analysis because it is often used literally (e.g., to depict an actual giant) or metaphorically (e.g., to depict an existential concern). . . . when metaphoric and literal information conflicts [in art], viewers favor metaphoric interpretations. . . . These results also provide a guide for combining literal and metaphorical information, whether the goal is ease of communication or to intentionally challenge the viewer.”

Christopher Crawford and Igor Juricevic.  “Understanding Metaphor in Art:  Distinguishing Literal Giants from Metaphorical Challenges.”  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press, https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000477

Researchers have determined how sleep deprivation influences impressions formed of faces; it is likely that their findings can be extended to other contexts.  Investigators lead by van Egmond report (in a study published in Nature and Science of Sleep) that “young adults when sleep-deprived evaluate angry faces as less trustworthy and healthy-looking. Furthermore, neutral and fearful faces appear less attractive following sleep loss. . . . The participants spent one night with no sleep at all and one night with an eight-hour sleep opportunity. [Data were collected] in the mornings following both nights.”

“Acute Sleep Loss May Alter the Way We See Others.”  2022.  Press release, Uppsala Universitet, https://www.uu.se/en/press/press-release/?id=5866&typ=pm&lang=en

In a study with applications beyond the specific research question investigated, Garay, Perez, and Pulga probed responses to color palettes used in paintings.  They report that “Most existing literature has ignored the potential effects that color intensity may have on art prices. . . . We examine 1627 paintings executed by the “Big Five” Latin American artists (Rivera, Tamayo, Lam, Matta, and Botero), and sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s between 2003 and 2017, to analyze this impact. We find strong evidence indicating that paintings that are more intense in color fetch higher prices, but only up to a certain degree (paintings whose color is ‘too intense’, ‘too vivid’ or ‘too dark’ actually fetch lower prices). To the best of our knowledge, these results are the first to confirm, for the case of the art market, early experimental evidence in the psychology literature pointing to the existence of an inverse “u” pattern on the preferences for color intensity.”

Urbi Garay, Eduardo Perez, and Fredy Pulga. 2022. “Color Intensity Variations and Art Prices:  An Examination of Latin American Art”  Journal of Business Research, vol. 147, pp. 158-176, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.03.010

Gore and colleagues studied the effects of seeing art on anxiety among cancer patients.  They report that they compared anxiety levels for “three groups (participants who observed an electronic selection of artwork with and without guided discussion, and a control group that did not engage in either dedicated art observation activity).  . . .  [average] anxiety scores were significantly lower among those who participated in guided art observation, compared to [the  control group]. . . . The majority of participants who engaged in art observation [those in either group that saw the art] felt that the activity provided positive distraction (85.7%) and decreased boredom (79.6%), and many noted that it reduced feelings of anxiety (46.9%) and depression (24.5%).”  Also, “independently viewing art was not significantly associated with lower anxiety scores compared to [the control group]. A prior study of a long-standing art installation in a similar patient setting found that artwork was associated with lower levels of anxiety at some, though not all, time points during an inpatient stay.”  In the two art conditions, people looked at images on an i-Pad for 30 minutes; in the with-facilitator situation someone used open-ended questions to encourage participants to talk about the images shown, covering topics determined by the patient (for example what patients noticed in each piece, and related emotional responses and memories triggered).   The different effects found for each art program may be linked to the fact that one involved more human interaction than the other.

Emily Gore, Susan Daiss, Jane Liesveld, and Christopher Mooney.  2022. “The Therapeutic Potential of Bedside Art Observation in Hematologic Cancer Inpatients:  A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study, Supportive Care in Cancer, vol. 30, pp. 3585-3592, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06747-z

Ouyang and colleagues learned how significantly the way product options are presented influences impressions formed; their findings are likely applicable more generally than the specific context investigated.  The researchers report that “Many retailers use seemingly innocuous dividing lines to separate product alternatives on their websites or product catalogs. . . . a dividing line can influence consumers' perceived quantity of the product alternatives displayed. . . . consumers perceive a smaller number of products displayed on a page when these products are separated by a dividing line compared to when they are not. This effect occurs because the dividing line separates the products into top versus bottom (or left vs. right) segments, such that participants' visual attention is largely drawn to the top (or the left) where their eyes first fixate. Consequently, participants tend to estimate the total number of items based on the subset they pay attention to. In addition, the effect . . . can hold regardless of line orientation. Finally, it can have several marketing outcomes, such as higher willingness to buy and lower post-choice satisfaction.”

Jun Ouyang, Yanli Jia, and Zhaoyang Guo.  “The Effects of a Dividing Line in a Product Assortment on Perceived Quantity, Willingness to Buy, and Choice Satisfaction.”  Psychology and Marketing, in press, https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21669

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