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Reyt and colleagues studied influences on how crowded people in waiting rooms feel.  They report that “Crowded waiting areas are volatile environments, where seemingly ordinary people often get frustrated and mistreat frontline staff. . . . we suggest an intervention that can ‘massage’ outsiders’ perceptions of crowding and reduce the mistreatment of frontline staff. We theorize that providing information for outsiders to read while they wait on a personal medium (e.g., a leaflet, a smartphone) reduces their crowding perceptions and mistreatment of frontline staff, compared to providing the same information on a public medium (e.g., poster, wall sign). We report two studies that confirm our theory: A field experiment in Emergency Departments . . . and an online experiment simulating a coffee shop.”

Jean-Nicolas Reyt, Dorit Efrat-Treister, Daniel Altman, Chen Shapira, Arie Eisenman, and Anat Rafaeli.  2022. “When the Medium Massages Perceptions:  Personal (Vs. Public Displays of Information Reduce Crowding Perceptions and Outsider Mistreatment of Frontline Staff.”  Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 164-178, https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000310

Beverly and colleagues probed the sorts of experiences that can reduce stress in frontline healthcare workers.  They report that they “piloted a three-minute Tranquil Cinematic-VR simulation of a nature scene to lower subjective stress among frontline healthcare workers in COVID-19 treatment units. . . . A convenience sample of frontline healthcare workers, including direct care providers, indirect care providers, and support or administrative services, were recruited from three COVID-19 units located in the United States. . . . Participants viewed a 360-degree video capture of a lush, green nature preserve in an Oculus Go or Pico G2 4K head-mounted display. . . . Post-simulation, we observed a significant reduction in subjective stress scores from pre- to post-simulation. . . .  Post-simulations scores did not differ by provider type, age range, gender, or prior experience with virtual reality.  Findings from this pilot study suggest that the application of this Tranquil Cinematic-VR simulation was effective in reducing subjective stress among frontline healthcare workers in the short-term.”

Elizabeth Beverly, Laurie Hommema, Kara Coates, Gary Duncan, Brad Gable, Thomas Gutman, Matthew Love, Carrie Love, Michelle Pershing, and Nancy Stevens.  2022. “A Tranquil Virtual Reality Experience to Reduce Subjective Stress Among COVID-19 Frontline Healthcare Workers.” PLoS ONE, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262703

Greenberg and colleagues probed links between personality and preferred music styles and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally.  The team report that they “built on theory and research in personality, cultural, and music psychology to map the terrain of preferences for Western music using data from 356,649 people across six continents. . . . the patterns of correlations between personality traits and musical preferences were largely consistent across countries and assessment methods. For example, trait Extraversion was correlated with stronger reactions to Contemporary musical styles (which feature rhythmic, upbeat, and electronic attributes), whereas trait Openness was correlated with stronger reactions to Sophisticated musical styles (which feature complex and cerebral attributes often heard in improvisational and instrumental music).” Conscientiousness was linked to unpretentious music preference, agreeableness was associated with mellow and unpretentious music, and openness was tied to mellow, contemporary, and intense music preference.  There was a strong negative correlation between conscientiousness and intense music. Mellow music is romantic, slow, and quiet; unpretentious music is uncomplicated and relaxing; and intense music is distorted, loud, and aggressive.

D. Greenberg, S. Wride, D. Snowden, D. Spathis, J. Potter and P. Rentfrow.  2022. “Universals and Variations in Musical Preferences:  A Study of Preferential Reactions to Western Music in 53 Countries.”  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 122, no. 2, pp. 286-309, https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000397

Researchers have evaluated what people from different cultures categorize as creative.  Data were gathered from people from Russia and the United Arab Emirates.  Kharkhurin and colleagues found that “The concept of creativity varies by culture. . . . Creative daring . . . appears to be a key feature of creativity in the Western, but not in the Eastern tradition.  . . . In the Western understanding, creativity implies originality, novelty and uniqueness, for the sake of which previous canons can be rejected.  The Eastern concept of creativity is based on the ability to creatively interpret existing traditions (and on giving equal importance on the aesthetic side).”

“Portrait of an Alien.”  2022.  Press release, HSE University, https://iq.hse.ru/en/news/551331486.html

Researchers have learned that too much similarity among survey questions can lead to the collection of lower quality data.  A Li-lead team found that “Surveys that ask too many of the same type of question tire respondents and return unreliable data. . . . people tire from questions that vary only slightly and tend to give similar answers to all questions as the survey progresses. . .  Respondents in the surveys adapted their decision making as they answer more repetitive, similarly structured choice questions, a process the authors call ‘adaptation.’ This means they processed less information, learned to weigh certain attributes more heavily, or adopted mental shortcuts for combining attributes. . . . Adaptation could also be reduced or delayed by repeatedly changing the format of the task or adding filler questions or breaks.” Quality of data collected can start to decrease after 6 to 8 too-similar questions.  This paper is published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

“Surveys With Repetitive Questions Yield Bad Data, Study Finds.”  2022.  Press release, University of California, Riverside, https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2022/01/28/surveys-repetitive-questions-yi...

McDonald, Bockler, and Kanske studied how hearing different sorts of music influences our thinking about other people.  They determined that “Music is a human universal and has the ability to evoke powerful, genuine emotions. But does music influence our capacity to understand and feel with others? A growing body of evidence indicates that empathy (sharing another’s feelings) and compassion (a feeling of concern toward others) are behaviorally and neutrally distinct, both from each other and from the social–cognitive process theory of mind (ToM; i.e., inferring others’ mental states). . . . we found enhanced empathy and compassion when emotional, but not when neutral music was present during videos displaying emotionally negative narrations. No such enhancement was present for ToM performance. Similarly, prosocial decision making increased after emotionally negative videos with emotional music. These findings demonstrate how emotional music can enhance empathic responding, compassion and prosocial decisions.”

Brennan McDonald, Anne Bockler, and Philipp Kanske. 2022. “Soundtrack to the Social World:  Emotional Music Enhances Empathy, Compassion, and Prosocial Decisions but Not Theory of Mind.”  Emotion, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 19-29, https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0001036

Chang and colleagues investigated factors that contribute to spending time in nature.  They found that there are genetic influences on the amount of time people are likely to spend in natural spaces and also on human desire to be in nature.

Chia-Chen Chang, Daniel Cox, Qiao Fan, Thi Nghiem, Claudia Tan, Rachel Oh, Brenda Lin, Danielle Shanahan, Richard Fuller, Kevin Gaston, and L. Carrasco.  2022. “People’s Desire to be in Nature and How They Experience It Are Partially Heritable.”  PLOS Biology, vol. 20, no. 2, e3001500, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001500

Seo evaluated responses to service robots in hotels.  They determined that “female service robots generated more pleasure and higher satisfaction compared to that of male service robots, and its influence is amplified when the level of anthropomorphism is high [the robots are more human-like] rather than low. Findings highlight the benefit of female service robots in a hotel setting which is only effective when the service robot is humanized, which provides useful guidelines for hoteliers when applying service robots in their service settings.” 

Soobin Seo.  2022. “When Female (Male) Robot Is Talking to Me:  Effect of Service Robots’ Gender and Anthropomorphism on Customer Satisfaction.”  International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 102, 103166, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2022.103166

Brandes and Dover evaluated how weather conditions influence user reviews; their findings may not come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s ever collected user feedback.  The information gathered by Brandes and Dover may also help explain unexpected/unanticipated sets of reviews or with the scheduling of studies, when possible.  Brandes and Dover report that their study “uses a unique dataset that combines 12 years of data on hotel bookings and reviews, with weather condition information at a consumer’s home and hotel address. The results show that bad weather increases review provision and reduces rating scores for past consumption experiences. Moreover, 6.5% more reviews are written on rainy days and that these reviews are 0.1 points lower, accounting for 59% of the difference in average rating scores between four- and five-star hotels in our data. These results are consistent with a scenario in which bad weather (i) induces negative consumer mood, lowering rating scores, and (ii) makes consumers less time-constrained, which increases review provision. Additional analyses with various automated sentiment measures for almost 300,000 review texts support this scenario: reviews on rainy days show a significant reduction in reviewer positivity and happiness, yet are longer and more detailed.”  Brandes and Dover’s findings support asking people submitting reviews, etc., what the weather is outside as they’re writing and interpreting data collected accordingly.

Leif Brandes and Yaniv Dover.  “Offline Context Affects Online Reviews:  The Effect of Post-Consumption Weather.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucac003

Nanayakkara and colleagues studied links between activity-based workplace design and organizational culture via interviews and surveys.  They report that “The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of introducing activity-based working (ABW) on existing organisational culture. It was addressed from the perspective of the management of large corporate organisations. . . . Workplace designs directly influence culture by supporting the systems, symbols, engagement/motivation and behaviours of the organisation and employees. . . .  the critical achievement of workspace design is to integrate the cultures, values and behaviours of organisations to meet their ultimate goals.”

Kusal Nanayakkara, Sara Wilkinson, and Dulani Halvitigala. 2021.   “Influence of Dynamic Changes of Workplace on Organisational Culture.”  Journal of Management and Organization, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 1003-1020, https://doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2021.69

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