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Pontes and Williams found that seeing the color red influences gambling behavior.  They report that “In general, people make more risk averse choices, gambling less and less often when primed with [shown] the color red over other colors. . . . when participants feel lucky or are from Asian Chinese backgrounds the effect is reversed and they take more risks when primed with the color red.”

Nicolas Pontes and Laura Williams.  2021. “Feeling Red Lucky?  The Interplay Between Color and Luck in Gambling Settings.” Psychology and Marketing, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 43-55,

Park and colleagues link particular gaze directions in advertisements to assessments of the products presented.  The team investigated “the influence of the face orientation of a human model on the perception of their attractiveness and its downstream consequences on product evaluation. Across five experiments, we first demonstrate that consumers tend to perceive a model's face showing his or her left cheek as more attractive than when showing the right cheek, even when the images are otherwise identical. More importantly, we demonstrate the downstream influence of face orientation on the evaluation of advertised products whereby the leftward (vs. rightward) model's face increases the evaluation of the advertised product through perceived model attractiveness. . . .  consumers perceive those faces showing their left (vs. right) cheek as more prototypical, and that this perception of prototypicality elicits an aesthetic preference for the model's leftward face which in turn carries over to influence product evaluation.”

Jaewoo Park, Charles Spence, Hiroaki Ishii, and Taku Togawa.  2021.  “Turning the Other Cheek:  Facial Orientation Influences Both Model Attractiveness and Product Evaluation.”  Psychology and Marketing, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 7-20,

Reinoso-Carvalho and associates link music heard to experiencing specific sorts of tastes. The team found that “chocolate was liked more, rated as sweeter, and the purchase intent was higher, when tasted while listening to music that conveyed positive, as compared to negative, emotion. By contrast, the same chocolate was mostly rated as tasting more bitter with the negative music, as compared to the positive music. . .. . Based on the score proposed by PANAS [Positive and Negative Affect Schedule], the positive music was significantly evoking positive emotions, and the negative was also significantly evoking negative emotions.”

Felipe Reinoso-Carvalho, Laura Gunn, German Molina, Takuji Narumi, Charles Spence, Yuji Suzuki, Enrique ter Horst, and Johan Wagemans.  2020“A Sprinkle of Emotions Vs. a Pinch of Crossmodality:  Towards Globally Meaningful Sonic Seasoning Strategies for Enhanced Multisensory Tasting Experiences.”  Journal of Business Research, vol. 117., pp. 389-399, https:/

Cotneilio and colleagues studied relationships between sense of agency and scents.  Sense of agency (SoA) is described as “ the feeling of ‘I did that’ as opposed to ‘the system did that’ supporting a feeling of being in control.”  The team “investigated, for the first time, the effect of smell-induced emotions on the SoA. . . . participants were exposed to three scents with different valence (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral).  Our results show that participants’ SoA increased with a pleasant scent compared to neutral and unpleasant scents.”      

Patricia Cotnelio, Emanuela Maggioni, Giada Brianza, Sriram Subramanian, and Marianna Obrist. 2020. “SmellControl:  The Study of the Sense of Agency in Smell.”  Proceedings of the 3030 International Conference in Mutltimodal Interaction, pp. 470-480,

Gupta and Hagtvedt have done intriguing research related to the spacing between letters.  Their “research demonstrates that interstitial space in textual brand logos—that is, spacious (vs. compact) arrangement of letters—unfavorably influences brand attitude by reducing product safety perceptions. When potential threats are salient, the effect tends to occur within tight (but not loose) cultures, characterized by sensitivity to threats and a need for rigid social structures. When threats are not salient, the effect appears to occur across cultures. Five studies, including lab and field experiments, as well as archival dataset analysis, provide supportive evidence.”  Tight and loose cultures are described here:–looseness

Tanvi Gupta and Henrik Hagtvedt.  “Safe Together, Vulnerable Apart:  How Interstitial Space in Text Logos Impacts Brand Attitudes in Tight Versus Loose Cultures.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press,

Investigators have identified several reasons for Zoom fatigue that are consistent with research previously done by environmental psychologists. Bailenson and colleagues, via a study published in Technology, Mind and Behavior, have determined, for example, that “Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense. . . . everyone is looking at everyone, all the time. . . . depending on your monitor size and whether you’re using an external monitor, faces on videoconferencing calls can appear too large for comfort. . . .  When someone’s face is that close to ours in real life, our brains interpret it as an intense situation that is either going to lead to mating or to conflict. . . . Most video platforms show a square of what you look like on camera during a chat. . . . when you see a reflection of yourself, you are more critical of yourself. . . . Movement is limited in ways that are not natural. ‘There’s a growing research now that says when people are moving, they’re performing better cognitively,’ Bailenson said.” Environmental psychologists have extensively researched eye contact, personal space, mirror use, and the cognitive implications of movement.

Vignesh Ramachandran. 2021.  “Stanford Researchers Identify Four Causes for ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and Their Simple Fixes.”  Press release, Stanford University,

Research completed by Jiang and colleagues indicates that plant scents can augment wellbeing. The Jiang lead team describe their research: “Non-fragrant Primula malacoides Franchwas used as a control stimulus, and Primula forbesii Franch, which has a floral fragrance, was used as an experimental stimulus. . . . We found that mean blood pressure and pulse rate decreased significantly after the experiment in both conditions. . . .  the vitality (V) subscale and total emotional state scores were significantly better in the experimental vs. control condition. . . . the sense of relaxation and comfort were significantly higher in the experimental vs. control condition. Compared with the non-fragrant Primula, the fragrant Primula induced relatively better physiological and psychological effects. . . .  Primula is very popular among indoor ornamental plants. It is one of the top-selling indoor potted flowering plants in Europe, America, and East Asia because of it produces colorful flowers early in the season.”

Songlin Jiang, Li Deng, Hao Luo, Xi Li, Baimeng Guo, Mingyan Jiang, Yin Jia, Jun Ma, Lingxia Sun, and Zhuo Huang.  2021.  “Effect of Fragrant Primula Flowers on Physiology and Psychology in Female College Students: An Empirical Study.”  Frontiers in Psychology,

Radicchi lead a team probing the psychological implications of urban soundscapes.  The group found that “At an international level it is recognised that urban noise has serious and negative public health impacts. . . . Urban designers and planners. . . . need an awareness of the immaterial cultural heritage of place – cultural events, festivals, sound marks and oral traditions, when dealing with the protection and renewal of the historical city. . . . Sense of place can alter our perceptions of urban settings in positive ways: knowing more about how place attachment, place identity, and place dependence associate with the ways in which people use, remember, and feel about cities will be important for more comprehensive and inclusive soundscape planning and management strategies. Integrating soundwalking and soundscape methods in the toolkit of mobility planners can help us consider the implications of the acoustic environmental quality for pedestrians and create urban environments that are accessible, healthier, and enriching for every inhabitant.”

Antonella Radicchi, Pinar Yelmi, Andy Chung, Pamela Jordan, Sharon Stewart, Aggelos Tsaligopoulos, Lindsay McCunn, and Marcus Grant.  2021. “Sound and the Healthy City.”  Cities and Health, vol. 5, no. 1-2, pp. 1-13,

Parsons reviews current research on thermal comfort; material that can be usefully applied in a variety of environments, from offices to public spaces, indoors and outside.  This text is useful to practitioners, from architects to ergonomists, and includes a model linking thermal conditions and human performance.

Ken Parsons.  2020.  Human Thermal Comfort.  Taylor & Francis; Boca Raton, FL.

The Center for the Built Environment at the University of California, Berkeley has presented its 2020 Livable Building Award to the renovation and expansion of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco.   The award “recognizes buildings that demonstrate ‘livability’ in terms of occupant satisfaction, sustainability and architectural design. . . . .The award jury, consisting of CBE industry partners, commended the design of the school in terms of its openness to the community, its layered access to views and daylight, and also that the design addressed equity, carbon and resilience. . . . The strategies employed in this renovation may be broadly applicable to older K-12 schools, many of which suffer from low levels of funding and deferred maintenance.” Additional information about the winning project, as well as photographs of it, are available at

David Lehrer. 2020. “Modernization of a Mid-Century High School Earns 2020’s Livable Building Award.  Press release, Center for the Built Environment,


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