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Investigators have found that varying lighting in nursing homes during the course of the day, so that light intensity and color mimics lighting conditions outdoors, supports better sleep among residents. Baier, Miller,  McCreedy, Uth, Wetle, Noell-Waggoner, Stringer, and Gifford, used data collected from study participants with an average age of 88 to better understand sleep related issues among nursing home residents: “Nursing home residents tend to fall asleep at all hours of the day, and during the night, their sleep may be interrupted by periods of wakefulness. . . .  [at] one California nursing home. . . . [in a dynamic lighting condition] the facility installed interior [LED] lighting fixtures that change color and intensity over the course of the day and night [to mimic natural light]. . . . The tuned lighting brightened corridor lighting in the day and dimmed it during the night. The static condition mimicked the fluorescent lighting in place at the facility prior to installation of the tunable fixtures.  . . . The study found that, on average, the residents experienced 3.6 nighttime sleep disturbances with static lighting compared to 1.8 with tuned lighting.”  Findings are published in Seniors Housing and Care Journal.

Janine Weisman. 2020.  “Tuned Lighting Helps Nursing Home Residents Get Better Sleep, Study Finds.”  Press release, Brown University,

Huang and Liu, via a study published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management,investigated how the alignment of fonts used with messages presented influences the success of charity appeals.  The researchers “asked prospective donors to consider whether and how much to give to a local food bank to help fight hunger during the coronavirus pandemic . . . donors were more likely to give when heartfelt messages were written in typefaces that looked like handwriting, and when messages that talked about the power of an organization were written in typeface that looked more business-like. . . . When the message was a warm one, with a tone that played up the emotions of what the fundraising organization could do, donors were more likely to give when the message was written in font that looked like handwriting. . . . When the message was focused on the competency of the organization, on its efficiency and on its power, donors were more likely to give when the message was written in a font that was clearly generated by a computer.”

Laura Arenschield. 2020.  “Donors More Likely to Give to COVID Causes When Font Matches Message.” Press release, The Ohio State University,

Vaez and colleagues studied how people using different wayfinding tools traveled through a place they had never been before. Researchers worked with  “three groups of participants who used different navigational aids: a group with a paper map, a group with the Google Maps app, and a group relying on local signage only. . . .  participants who had never visited Brisbane, Australia. . . . undertook a two-hour pedestrian wayfinding task. . . . The GPS group preferred to follow the suggested route by their navigator, most of them ‘locking in’ as digital navigators throughout the task. By contrast, the local-signage-only group used a diverse range of strategies to wayfind. Local-signage-only and paper map users tried to locate their position in the city by using piloting or path integration strategies, the GPS group just passively followed the guidance line showed by their device. On completion of the task the digital navigators recognized less spatial information. Surprisingly, the digital navigators did not feel less anxious compared with the two other groups.”

Sima Vaez, Matthew Burke, and Rongrong Yu. 2020.  “Visitors’ Wayfinding Strategies and Navigational Aids in Unfamiliar Urban Environment.”  Tourism Geographies, vol. 22, no. 4-5, pp. 832-847,

Selections and preferences were probed in a recent study.  Silver and colleagues report that “The question of how people’s preferences are shaped by their choices has generated decades of research. In a classic example, work on cognitive dissonance has found that observers who must choose between two equally attractive options subsequently avoid the unchosen option, suggesting that not choosing the item led them to like it less. However, almost all of the research on such choice-induced preference focuses on adults. . . . we examined the developmental roots of this phenomenon in preverbal infants. . . . In a series of seven experiments using a free-choice paradigm, we found that infants experienced choice-induced preference change similar to adults’. Infants’ choice patterns reflected genuine preference change and not attraction to novelty or inherent attitudes toward the options. Hence, choice shapes preferences—even without extensive experience making decisions and without a well-developed self-concept.”

Alex Silver, Aimee Stahl, Rita Loiotile, Alexis Smith-Flores, and Lisa Feigenson.  “When Not Choosing Leads to Not Liking:  Choice-Induced Preference in Infancy.”  Psychological Science, in press,

Jonauskaite, Parraga, Quiblier, and Mohr assessed how consistent people’s emotional associations are when they read the name of colors and when they see patches of the same colors.  The team found “high similarity in the pattern of associations of specific emotion concepts with terms and patches . . . for all colours except purple. . . . We also observed differences for black, which is associated with more negative emotions and of higher intensity when presented as a term than a patch. . . . results from studies on colour–emotion relationships using colour terms or patches should be largely comparable.”  This finding is useful, for example, to designers and researchers developing data collection tools.   The researchers studied responses to red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, pink, brown, white, gray, and black. Color patches used were “the best exemplars of each colour category. . . . which are largely universally recognized.”  Also,“Pinkwhitegreenorangeblueyellow, and turquoise were all significantly biased towards positive [emotional] associations . . . while blackgrey, and brown . . . were significantly biased towards negative associations.”  For “Red . . . and purple . . . . . . the same number of positive and negative emotion concepts was on average associated with these colours.”  The researchers also report that Labrecque and Milne (2012), interestingly, link viewed black with the ideas of sophistication and elegance.

Domicele Jonauskaite, C. Parraga, Michael Quiblier, and Christine Mohr. 2020.  “Feeling Blue or Seeing Red?  Similar Patterns of Emotion Associations with Colour Patches and Colour Terms.”  I-Perception, vol. 11, no. 1,

Stanischewskiand team mates review and extend research related to human responses to curvilinearity and rectillinearity.  They share that previous research has shown that “Curvilinearity is a perceptual feature that robustly predicts preference ratings for a variety of visual stimuli. . . . The present results support the idea that people prefer curved stimuli over angular ones overall. Specifically, participants rated curved stimuli as more pleasing and harmonious than the angular stimuli.”

Sarah Stanischewski, Carolin Altmann, Anselm Brachmann, and Christoph Redies. “Aesthetic Perception of Line Patterns: Effect of Edge-Orientation Entropy and Curvilinear Shape.”  I-Perception, in press,

Li and colleagues studied how streetscapes influence walking in Boston.  They report that “Publicly accessible Google Street View images were used to estimate the amount of street greenery. . . .  Statistical analysis results show that the associations between human walking activities and the streetscape variables vary among different land use types after controlling the confounding variable of the Walk Score and population. . . .  In residential and commercial land use areas, the visibility of the street greenery is negatively associated with human walking activities.  For recreational land and industrial land, there is no significant association between the visibility of street greenery and human walking activities.”

Xiaojiang Li, Paolo Santi, Theodore Courtney, Santosh Verma, and Carlo Ratti. “Investigating the Association Between Streetscapes and Human Walking Activities Using Google Street View and Human Trajectory Data.”  Transactions in GIS, in press, DOI:  10.1111/tgis.12472

Alamir and Hansen evaluated how experiencing particular sorts of sounds influences our response to food served.  They determined that “Relaxing music increased the liking of food at 30 and 40 dBA by 60 and 38%, respectively.  Restaurant noise and road traffic noise decreased the liking of food at all noise levels.  The increase of noise levels [data were collected at 30, 40 and 50 dBA] decreased the liking of food for all noise types. . . . These results could also be helpful in choosing and designing dining areas with background noise that increase food enjoyment.

Mahmoud Alamir and Kristy Hansen.  2021.  “The Effect of Type and Level of Background Noise on Food Liking:  A Laboratory Non-Focused Listening Test.”  Applied Acoustics, vol. 172, 107600,

Zhao lead a group that investigated how environments can influence cheating by 5- and 6-year olds. The team report that they “test the moral barrier hypothesis, which posits that moral violations can be inhibited by the introduction of spatial boundaries, including ones that do not physically impede the act of transgressing. We found that both real and imagined barriers, when placed strategically [between children and a piece of paper with the answers to test questions on it], were able to reduce cheating among 5- to 6-y-olds. . . . We found that, as compared to a no barrier condition, children cheated significantly less often when a barrier was strategically placed to divide the space where children were seated from a place that was associated with cheating. This effect was seen both when the barrier took a physical form and when it was purely symbolic. . . . . these findings . . . show that even seemingly unremarkable features of children’s environments can nudge them to act honestly.”   An imaginary boundary created by the researchers was outlined in midair by a toy described as a “magic wand.”   

Li Zhao, Yi, Zheng, Brian Compton, Wen Qin, Jiaxin Zheng, Genyue Fu, Kang Lee, and Gail Heyman.  2020. “The Moral Barrier Effect:  Real and Imagined Barriers Can Reduce Cheating.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 32, pp. 19101-19107,

Sadik and Kamardeen researched the professional implications of experiencing indoor nature (for example, inside plants, window views, pre-recorded nature sounds) and outdoor nature.  They determined via a literature review that “indoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to social sustainability through its impact on workers' health and motivation while outdoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to economic, environmental and social sustainability through its impact on workers' restoration, stress reduction and stress coping. Workplace design should therefore embed both indoor and outdoor nature exposure to maximise impacts on employees. . . . Social sustainability, the human dimension of sustainable development, embodies essential aspects of human life including quality of life, health, employment and pleasant work. . . . Social sustainability therefore emphasises the significance of employees’ well-being and satisfaction to the global development agenda.”

Abdul-Manan Sadik and Imriyas Kamardeen.  2020.  “Enhancing Employees’ Performance and Well-Being with Nature Exposure Embedded Office Workplace Design.”  Journal of Building Engineering, vol. 32, 101789,


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