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Koohsari and colleagues studied how worker perceptions of workplace layouts influence how active they are during the day.  The investigators had study participants report their physical activity during the workday and provide details on the design of their workplace.  The Koohsari team interprets their findings by sharing that "There may be a disincentive to move around the office in shared and open-plan offices because of the disruption to work or the potential to be judged.  It may be possible that seeing others (shared and open-plan offices) sitting acts as a cue also to sit more (social norm)-not wanting to be seen moving around too much or being perceived as wasting time or not working." 

Mohammad Koohsari, Gavin McCormack, Tomoki Nakaya, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, Chien-Yu Lin, Tomoya Hanibuchi, Akitomo Yasunaga, and Koichiro Oka.  2022. “Perceived Workplace Layout Design and Work-Related Physical Activity and Sitting Time.”  Building and Environment, vol. 211, 108739, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108739

Song and Sela have determined via six experiments that people make different choices when using a smartphone than when selecting from options using another tool.  The research duo reports that “compared with using a personal computer (PC), making choices using a personal smartphone leads consumers to prefer more unique options. The authors theorize that because smartphones are considerably more personal and private than PCs, using them activates intimate self-knowledge and increases private self-focus, shifting attention toward individuating personal preferences, feelings, and inner states. Consequently, making choices using a personal smartphone, compared with a PC, tends to increase the preference for unique and self-expressive options. . . . The findings have important implications for . . . many online vendors, brands, and researchers who use mobile devices to interact with their respective audiences.” These findings have implications for the design of options to be presented via different tools and provide clear evidence of the value of presenting unique, customized, and special alternatives via smartphones.

Camilla Song and Aner Sela.  “EXPRESS:  Phone and Self:  How Smartphone Use Increases Preference for Uniqueness.”  Journal of Marketing Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/00222437221120404

Grant and colleagues investigated falls in care homes by elderly (mean age 81 +/- 12 years old) residents.  They report that some test locations “had solid-state lighting installed throughout the facility that changed in intensity and spectrum to increase short-wavelength (blue light) exposure during the day (6 am–6 pm) and decrease it overnight (6 pm–6 am). The control sites retained standard lighting with no change in intensity or spectrum throughout the day. The number of falls aggregated from medical records were assessed over an approximately 24-month interval. . . .  Before the lighting upgrade, the rate of falls was similar between experimental and control sites. . . . Following the upgrade, falls were reduced by 43% at experimental sites compared with control sites. . . . Upgrading ambient lighting to incorporate higher intensity blue-enriched white light during the daytime and lower intensity overnight represents an effective, passive, low-cost, low-burden addition to current preventive strategies to reduce fall risk in long-term care settings.”

Leila Grant, Melissa St. Hilaire, Jenna Heller, Rodney Heller, Steven Lockley, and Shadab Rahnman.  “Impact of Upgraded Lighting on Falls in Care Home Residents.”  The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2022.06.013

Monroy and Keltner’s work confirms the value of feeling awed; people can be awed in various ways, including, for example, via viewing extraordinary workmanship or materials.  The research duo reports that “we first review recent advances in the scientific study of awe. . . . Awe engages five processes—shifts in neurophysiology, a diminished focus on the self, increased prosocial relationality, greater social integration, and a heightened sense of meaning—that benefit well-being. We then apply [our] model to illuminate how experiences of awe that arise in nature, spirituality, music, collective movement, and psychedelics strengthen the mind and body.”

Maria Monroy and Dacher Keltner.  “Awe as a Pathway to Mental and Physical Health.”  Perspectives on Psychological Science, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/17456916221094856

Shank and teammates probed listener responses to music after attributing its composition to either artificial intelligence or a human.  The researchers report that “participants listened to excerpts of electronic and classical music and rated how much they liked the excerpts. . . . Participants . . . liked music less that they thought was composed by an AI.” These results can likely be applied more broadly.

Daniel Shank, Courtney Stefanik, Cassidy Stuhlsatz, Kaelyn Kacirek, and Amy Belfi.  “AL Composer Bias:  Listeners Like Music Less When They Think It Was Composed by an AI.”  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Applied, https://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000447

Chen and colleagues investigated how experiencing psychological ownership influences performance; it is likely that their findings are relevant more broadly.  The researchers determined that “Job-based psychological ownership arises when workers develop personal feelings of possession over various aspects of a job. . . . job-based psychological ownership prompts employees to engage in territorial marking, defending, and expanding. Territorial defending correlates negatively with information exchange, territorial expanding is positively related to it, and territorial marking has no relationship with information exchange. Information exchange is positively related to job performance. Job-based psychological ownership impedes job performance through increased territorial defending and reduced information exchange, especially among employees with a prevention focus. It enhances job performance through increased territorial expanding and increased information exchange, particularly if employees have a high promotion focus.”

Xingwen Chen, Cynthia Lee, Chun Hui, Weipeng Lin, Graham Brown and Jun Liu.  “Feeling Possessive, Performing Well?  Effects of Job-Based Psychological Ownership on Territoriality, Information Exchange, and Job Performance.”  Journal of Applied Psychology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0001027

Francesconi and colleagues studied links between environmental conditions and child development.  They found that “neighbourhood disorder was associated with emotional symptoms and conduct problems at age 3 and with the trajectory of cognitive ability from ages 3 to 11. . . . Neighbourhood disorder is broadly taken to refer to observed or perceived physical and social features of neighbourhoods that may signal the breakdown of order and social control, and that can undermine the quality of life. In our study, it was assessed by . . . interviewers who reported the presence in the immediate local area of features such as dog mess, litter, graffiti, hostile arguing on the street, vandalised cars and run-down buildings. . . . we found that greater neighbourhood disorder was associated with: (i) higher levels of emotional symptoms at the starting point (intercept) of their trajectory at age 3, (ii) higher levels of conduct problems at age 3 and (iii) lower cognitive ability across ages 3 to 11.”

Marta Francesconi, Eirini Flouri, and James Kirkbridge.  2022. “The Role of the Built Environment in the Trajectories of Cognitive Ability and Mental Health Across Early and Middle Childhood:  Results from a Street Audit Tool in a General-Population Birth Cohort.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 82, 101847, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101847

Wigert and teammates probed core elements of the creative process.  They report that “The process of problem construction is known to be a critical influence on creative problem-solving. The current study assessed the utility of different problem construction methods used to maximize creativity during the creative process. An experimental design was used to explore the interplay between convergent and divergent thinking processes. Participants were asked to creatively solve an ill-defined problem under four conditions that varied in their combinations of instruction to engage in divergent and convergent thinking. Findings indicated that engaging in divergent thinking, followed by a convergent thinking method during the problem construction process results in more creative solutions than using only methods associated with divergent thinking.”

Benjamin Wigert, Vignesh Murugavel, and Roni Reiter-Palmon.  “The Utility of Divergent and Convergent Thinking in the Problem Construction Processes During Creative Problem-Solving.” Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, in press, https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000513

Research by Schaap and colleagues confirms that not all judgments are as objective as we might like to believe.  The investigators reported that they “empirically assess how the evaluation of music fragments – electronic dance music (EDM) in particular – is affected by the perceived attractiveness of a DJ, in relation to their gender. . . . We find a strong positive relationship between artists’ perceived attractiveness and how ‘their’ music is evaluated. While this is true regardless of DJ gender, attractiveness benefits male artists slightly more than female artists.”

Julian Schaap, Michael Berghman, and Thomas Calkins.  “Attractive People Make Better Music?  How Gender and Perceived Attractiveness Affect the Evaluation of Electronic Dance Music Artists.”  Empirical Studies of the Arts, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/02762374221118526

Ramezi and colleagues studied how design and brand image are related.  They determined that “Social capital is one of the requirements of quality and good urban living. Social capital will lead to trust and security of participation and social solidarity of spatial belonging and shared values. In urban neighborhoods, various factors can lead to the production and promotion of social capital. . . . The research results show that social capital in neighborhoods is directly related to the brand of those neighborhoods. Having a readable neighborhood center, distinct architectural style, familiar and natural symbols and signs, significant green and blue infrastructure including rivers, significant communication bridges, antiquity and originality of the neighborhood, a hierarchical system in pedestrian and pedestrian access and legibility of space are the most important components in becoming a brand. Identity branding and physical differentiation have the most significant impact on increasing social capital. The functional aspect of place branding also can promote social capital in neighborhoods.”

Mansour Ramezi, Mansour Yeganeh, and Mohammadreza Bemanian.  “The Role of Place Branding in Promoting Social Capital in Urban Areas (Case Study:  Ahvaz, Iran).”  Frontiers in Built Environment, in press, doi:  10.3389/fbuil.2022.889139

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