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Research conducted by Choi and team confirms that experiencing cooler light is energizing. They “investigated physiological and subjective responses to morning light exposure of commercially available LED lighting with different correlated colour temperatures to predict how LED-based smart lighting employed in future learning environments will impact students. . . . university students underwent an hour of morning light exposure to both warm (3,500 K) and blue-enriched (6,500 K) white lights at recommended illuminance levels for classrooms and lecture halls (500 lux). The decline of melatonin levels was significantly greater after the exposure to blue-enriched white light. Exposure to blue-enriched white light significantly improved subjective perception of alertness, mood, and visual comfort. . . . Blue-enriched LED light seems to be a simple yet effective potential countermeasure for morning drowsiness and dozing off in class, particularly in schools with insufficient daylight.” People in the bluer light thus felt significantly more alert, etc., than those experiencing the warmer light.

Kyungah Choi, Cheong Shin, Taesu Kim, Hyun Chung, and Hyeon-Jeong Suk.  “Awakening Effects of Blue-Enriched Morning Light Exposure on University Students’ Physiological and Subjective Responses.”  Scientific Reports, vol. 9, article 345, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-36791-5

Curry, Mullins, and Whitehouse determined that cooperation is valued worldwide, so supporting cooperation via design is generally desirable.  The researchers report that “The theory of ‘morality-as-cooperation’ argues that morality consists of a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. Morality-as-cooperation . . . predicts that specific forms of cooperative behavior—including helping kin, helping your group, reciprocating, being brave, deferring to superiors, dividing disputed resources, and respecting prior possession—will be considered morally good wherever they arise, in all cultures. . . . we investigated the moral valence of these even cooperative behaviors in the ethnographic records of 60 societies.  We find that the moral valence of these behaviors is uniformly positive, and the majority of these cooperative morals are observed in the majority of cultures, with equal frequency across all regions of the world.  We conclude that these seven cooperative behaviors are plausible candidates for universal moral rules.”

Oliver Curry, Daniel Mullins, and Harvey Whitehouse.  2019. “Is It Good to Cooperate?  Testing the Theory of Morality-As-Cooperation in 60 Societies.”  Current Anthropology, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 47-69,

Research conducted by Threadgold and colleagues indicates the dangers of listening to music while attempting to think creatively.  The Threadgold-lead group reports that they “investigated the impact of background music on performance of Compound Remote Associate Tasks (CRATs), which are widely thought to tap creativity. Background music with foreign (unfamiliar) lyrics . . . instrumental music without lyrics . . . and music with familiar lyrics . . . all significantly impaired CRAT performance in comparison with quiet background conditions.” A CRAT is described: it “involves a participant being shown three words (e.g., dress, dial, and flower), with the requirement being to find a single associated word (in this case ‘sun’) that can be combined with each presented word . . . to make a common word or phrase (i.e., sundress, sundial, and sunflower . . .).”  Creative performance in the “quiet” condition was similar to performance in a “library” noise condition, and the library noise condition was described: “library noise consisted of distant (nonintelligible) speech, photocopier noise, typing, and rustling of papers.”

Emma Threadgold, John Marsh, Neil McLatchie, and Linden Ball. 2019. “Background Music Stints Creativity: Evidence from Compound Remote Associate Tasks.”  Applied Cognitive Psychology,


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