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Abrams probed the experiences of people with ADHD working during the pandemic and her findings indicate how workplace design can support people with ADHD generally.  Abrams states that “Working from home has also presented challenges for adults with ADHD, including dealing with the loss of boundaries—such as a dedicated workspace or an on-site supervisor—that help them avoid distractions and provide cues about when to stop and start tasks. . . . [mental health care] providers have used a mix of old and new strategies to help people with ADHD function well during the pandemic. . . . For adults working from home, a clear workspace that contains only work-related items helps to limit distractions, Politi [Danielle Politi, PsyD, Multi-Health Systems, Inc.] said.  She also recommends scheduling frequent breaks and using the last 15 to 30 minutes of each workday to reset:  Clear your inbox and office space and make a plan for the following day.  . . .  People with ADHD can improve their functioning by seeking out optimal work times and settings.”

Zara Abrams. 2022. “Helping Adults and Children with ADHD in a Pandemic World.”  Monitor on Psychology vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 68-74.

Liao and teammates’ work supports previous studies with color-based metaphors.  The researchers learned that “Previous studies demonstrated that colors evoke certain affective meanings. . . . Japanese participants were presented with emoticons depicting four basic emotions (Happy, Sad, Angry, Surprised) and a Neutral expression, each rendered in eight colors. . . . The affective [emotional] meaning of Angry and Sad emoticons was found to be stronger when conferred in warm and cool colors, respectively. . . . The findings provide evidence that affective congruency of the emoticon expression and the color it is rendered in facilitates recognition of the depicted emotion, augmenting the conveyed emotional message.”

Songyang Liao, Katsuaki Sakata, and Galina Paramei.  “Color Affects Recognition of Emoticon Expressions.”  I-Perception, in press,

Chuquichambi and colleagues’ work confirms that humans prefer curved lines to sharp angled ones.  The research team reports that “Lines contribute to the visual experience of drawings. People show a higher preference for curved than sharp angled lines. We studied preference for curvature using drawings of commonly-used objects drawn by design students. We also investigated the relationship of that preference with drawing preference. Experiments 1 and 2 revealed preference for the curved drawings in the laboratory and web-based contexts, respectively. Experiment 3 showed that the curved drawings were also preferred to draw than the sharp-angled ones. However, this effect only appeared when the drawings were made by hand, but not when they were made by computer. We found a moderate positive correlation between liking and drawing preference. . . . Sex, art experience and openness to experience did not influence preference for curvature. Altogether, our findings support the curvature effect and the hypothesis that people prefer to draw what they like to see.”

Erick Chuquichambi, Daniela Sarria Guido Corradi, and Enric Munar.  “Humans Prefer to See and Imagine Drawing Curved Objects.”  Empirical Studies of the Arts, in press,

Howell and Booth link neighborhood walkability and the presence of outdoor amenities to better health and fewer cases of diabetes among residents.  The duo report that “researchers and policymakers alike have been searching for effective means to promote healthy lifestyles at a population level. . . . there has been a proliferation of research examining how the ‘built’ environment in which we live influences physical activity levels, by promoting active forms of transportation, such as walking and cycling, over passive ones, such as car use. Shifting the transportation choices of local residents may mean that more members of the population can participate in physical activity during their daily routine without structured exercise programs.”  The researchers determined that people living in walkable neighborhoods who had access to parks and other options for outdoor activities were both more active and also less likely to be diabetic or obese.

Nicholas Howell and Gillian Booth.  “The Weight of Place:  Built Environment Correlates of Obesity and Diabetes.”  Endocrine Reviews, in press,

Uziel and Tomer Schmidt-Barad investigated how the decisions to be alone and to be with others influence wellbeing and their findings confirm the importance effects of control on wellbeing.  The research duo report that Stable social relationships are conducive to well-being. . . . The present investigation suggests that . . . social interactions increase ESWB [experiential subjective well-being] only if taken place by one's choice. Moreover, it is argued that choice matters more in a social context than in an alone context because experiences with others are amplified. These ideas were tested and supported in two studies: An experiment that manipulated social context and choice status, and a 10-day experience-sampling study, which explored these variables in real-life settings. Results showed that being with others by one’s choice had the strongest positive association with ESWB, sense of meaning, and control, whereas being with others not by one’s choice—the strongest negative association with ESWB.”  

Liad Uziel and Tomer Schmidt-Barad.  2022.  “Choice Matters More with Others:  Choosing to Be With Other People is More Consequential to Well-Being Than Choosing to Be Alone.”  Journal of Happiness Studies,

Reid, Rieves, and Carlson evaluated the effects of access to greenspace on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They share that they used data collected via a survey completed by Denver, CO residents (November 2019 – January 2021) “and [also] measured objective green space as the average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) from aerial imagery within 300m and 500m of the participant’s residence. Perceived green space was measured through Likert scores on five questions about vegetation near the home that captured perceived abundance, visibility, access, usage, and quality of green space. . . . Adjusted for sociodemographic and pandemic stressors, we found that spending a lot of time in green space (usage) was significantly associated with lower anxiety and depression. We also observed significantly lower depression scores associated with NDVI . . . (objective abundance) and significantly lower anxiety scores with perceived abundance of green space. . . . We did not observe significant associations for any green space metric and perceived stress after adjustment for confounding variables.”

Colleen Reid, Emma Rieves, and Kate Carlson.  2022.  “Perceptions of Green Space Usage, Abundance, and Quality of Green Space Were Associated with Better Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Residents of Denver.”  PLoS ONE, vol. 17, no. 3, e0263779,

Jiang and colleagues have found, via a study using immersive virtual environment (IVE) techniques, that views of green spaces through windows can make it easier to move from one part of a building to another effectively and efficiently;  their findings are readily applicable to non-healthcare space types.  The team reports that “Participants’ wayfinding performances were interpreted using several indicators, including task completion, duration, walking distance, stop, sign-viewing, and route selection. . . . participants performed better on high complexity wayfinding tasks in the IVE hospital with visible greenspaces, as indicated by less time consumed and shorter walking distance to find the correct destination, less frequent stops and sign viewing, and more efficient route selection. Participants also experienced enhanced mood states and favorable spatial experience and perceived aesthetics in the IVE hospital with visible greenspaces than the same environment without window views. . . . Hospital greenspaces located at key decision points could serve as landmarks that positively attract people’s attention, aid wayfinding, and improve their navigational experience.”

Shan Jiang, David Allison, and Andrew Duchowski.  “Hospital Greenspaces and the Impacts on Wayfinding and Spatial Experience:  An Explorative Experiment Through Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE) Techniques.”  HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press,

Yin, Bratman, Browning, Spengler, and Olvera-Alvarez evaluated how seeing desert scenes through windows influences stress levels.  They report that they studied “the effect of a virtual reality (VR) exposure to a desert vs. green environment among . . . residents of El Paso, Texas. The procedure consisted of an acute stressor followed by random assignment to a 10 min VR experience (desert, green space, or office [control condition]). . . . exposure to a desert environment in VR promoted stress recovery just as much as a green environment. . . . participants reported a preference for a picture of green landscape over a picture of a desert landscape. . . .   As our participants . . . had a degree of familiarity with the predominantly brown landscape of the Chihuahuan desert to which they were exposed. . . . immersion in the desert environment . . . could have afforded this population a more rapid assessment of safety, thereby counteracting the effects of the acute stressor and aiding in recovery."  These data were collected via virtual reality and not direct exposure to the desert, which may have influenced the findings.

Jie Yin, Gregory Bratman, Matthew Browning, John Spengler, and Hector Olvera-Alvarez.  “Stress Recovery from Virtual Exposure to a Brown (Desert) Environment Versus a Green Environment.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press,

Yin and Huang studied factors that might encourage conspicuous consumption.  They report that “People’s schedules are jointly determined by their biological clock and social clock. However, their social clock often deviates from the biological clock (e.g., having to get up earlier than one’s natural wake-up time for work or study, having to stay up to work night shifts or meet a project deadline)—a phenomenon known as ‘social jetlag.’ How does social jetlag impact consumer behavior? Using field data and experiments, we show that social jetlag decreases conspicuous consumption because consumers experiencing social jetlag are less interested in social interaction. This effect is weakened when social interaction occurs among familiar others rather than strangers, when conspicuous consumption does not draw social attention, and when consumers expect to use a luxury product in a private setting.”

Yunlu Yin and Zhongqiang Huang.  “Social-Jetlagged Consumers and Decreased Conspicuous Consumption.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press,

How does the speed at which we feel we’re moving (in a car or train, for example) influence decisions made?  Shani-Feinstein, Kyung, and Goldenberg share that “With recent technological innovations, people increasingly experience speed during decision making. They can be physically on the move with their devices or virtually immersed in speed simulated through their devices. Through seven experiments, we provide evidence for a speed-abstraction effect, where the perception of moving faster (vs. slower) leads people to rely on more abstract (vs. concrete) mental representations during decision making.”

Yael Shani-Feinstein, Ellie Kyung, and Jacob Goldenberg.  “Moving, Fast or Slow:  How Perceived Speed Influences Mental Representation and Decision Making.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press,


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