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Recently completed research indicates how behaviors in a space are related to the general conditions people encounter there. Bergquist and colleagues set out to replicate a study done by a Cialdini-lead team in 1990.  When doing so they found “less littering in clean compared to littered environments [consistent with the Cialdini-lead research]. . . . littering increased rather than decreased by adding a single piece of litter in an otherwise clean environment [inconsistent with the Cialdini-lead research].”

M. Bergquist, P. Blumenschein, J. Kohler, E. Martins, Silva Ramos, J. Rodstrom, and E. Ejelov.”Replicating the Focus Theory of Normative Conduct as Tested by Cialdini et al. (1990) Study 2 and 3.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press,

Ozkul, Bilgili, and Koc studied how the color of light used in a restaurant influences diner experience.  The researchers found when “five experiments were conducted in five ambient lighted in different colors. . . . the perception of service quality and the level of satisfaction were higher in red and yellow-lighted ambient than those in blue and green-lighted ambient.” Some technical details:  “Yellow, blue, red, and green lights were obtained by covering the surface of white bulbs with colored gelatin. . .  to have approximately 1000 lx standard per square meter, 25 bulbs were used for the green light, 28 bulbs for the red light, and 29 bulbs for the blue light.”

Emrah Ozkul, Bilsen Bilgili, and Erdogan Koc. 2020.  “The Influence of the Color of Light on the Customers’ Perception of Service Quality and Satisfaction in the Restaurant.” Color Research and Application, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 1217-1240,

Barone, Coulter, and Li determined that where prices are marked (their vertical position) determines how that price is perceived. The researchers asked: “Can changing the vertical location of a price (e.g., presenting it above or below a product image in an advertisement or retail display) influence consumer response? . . .  several lab and field investigations [conducted by the Barone-lead team] demonstrate that prices provided in low (vs. high) locations lead to lower price perceptions, more favorable purchase intentions, and higher in-store sales. . . . such price location effects . . .  arise only among individuals who associate down with less and up with more. . . . low price locations can also induce consumers to perceive a product as being less costly without adversely affecting quality perceptions. . . . firms can improve consumer response simply by showing prices at the bottom (vs. top) of a focal product in a marketing stimulus.”

Michael Barone, Keith Coulter, and Xingbo Li. 2020.  “The Upside of Down:  Presenting a Price in a Low or High Location Influences How Consumers Evaluate it.”  Journal of Retailing, vol. 96, no. 3, pp. 397-410,

Tian, Chen, and Hu looked at appropriate levels of circadian stimulus (CS) by age.  They determined that “the effect of the CS increased with CCT from 4000 K to 8000 K at the same age as a general trend; however, the CCT of 2700 K shows a higher circadian impact compared to that of 4000 K for the same age groups. . . . In order to provide sufficient CS, the minimum corneal illuminance for children and elderly is 250 lx and 380 lx, respectively, when the CCT of the light source was 2700 K. The minimum corneal illuminance for children and elderly is 150 lx and 420 lx, respectively, when the CCT of the light source was 8000 K. In order to avoid activation of the circadian system, the maximum corneal illuminance for children and elderly is 30 lx and 48 lx, respectively, when the CCT of the light source is 2700 K. The maximum corneal illuminance for children and elderly is 36 lx and 145 lx, respectively, when the CCT of the light source is 4000 K.”  These findings can be used to develop lighting plans, for example.

H. Tian, T. Chen, and Y. Hu.  2021.  “Change of Circadian Effect with Colour Temperature and Eye Spectral Transmittance at Different Ages.”  Lighting Research and Technology, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 41-53,

Finnish researchers studied how seasonal sunlight variations influence mood.  Their findings, published in The Journal of Neuroscience,are useful in a variety of contexts, for example, for better understanding research data collected.  The investigators report that “the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. Seasons have an impact on our emotions and social life. Negative emotions are more subdued in the summer, whereas seasonal affective disorder rates peak during the darker winter months. Opioids regulate both mood and sociability in the brain. In the study conducted at the Turku PET Centre, Finland, researchers compared how the length of daylight hours affected the opioid receptors in humans and rats. . . . On the basis of the results, the duration of daylight is a particularly critical factor in the seasonal variation of opioid receptors.”

“Seasonal Variation in Daylight Influences Brain Function.”  2021.  Press release, University of Turku.

Research has shown that how human-like a robot appears to be influences how we think about what those robots do.  Researchers lead by Laakasuo determined that when “study participants read short narratives where either a robot, a somewhat humanoid robot known as iRobot, a robot with a strong humanoid appearance called iClooney or a human being encounters a moral problem along the lines of the trolley dilemma, making a specific decision. The participants were also shown images of these agents, after which they assessed the morality of their decisions. . . . The trolley dilemma is a problem where a person sees a trolley careening on the tracks, without anyone in control, towards five people. The person can either do nothing or turn the trolley onto another track, saving the five people but killing another individual on the other track. According to the study, people consider the choice made by the humanoid iRobot and iClooney less ethically sound than the same decision made by a human and a robot with a traditional robot-like appearance.”

Michael Laakasuo, Tuire Korvuo, and Niina Niskanen.  2021. “The Appearance of Robots Affects Our Perception of the Morality of Their Decisions.”  Press release, University of Helsinki,

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,


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