Temperature and Decision-Making (08-15-17)

Temperature influences decision-making.  Working with people experiencing temperatures perceived as comfortable, Hadi and her team learned that “cold (warm) temperatures may lead individuals to rely more (less) on emotions when making decisions.”  So, when cold people are more likely to make emotion-based decisions and the reverse is true for those who are warm.  Also, “participants in the affective [emotional] task conditions showed a significant average increase in [perceived] temperature while those individuals in the cognitive condition displayed a significant average decrease in temper

Cooler is Heavier (07-25-17)

Recent research confirms that colder objects seem heavier than ones at a neutral temperature.  Dunn and his team share that “It has long been known that a . . . cooled stimulus is perceived as heavier than the same object at a neutral temperature—termed Weber's Phenomenon (WP). In the current study, we re-examined this phenomenon. . . .  In normal condition, when the same forces were applied [when items weighed the same amount], all subjects displayed a clear preference for the cooled tactile stimulus as being heavier than the tactile-only stimulus. . . .

Thermal Comfort Tool from the CBE (04-13-17)

At the web address below, the Center for the Built Environment at Berkeley shares a free tool for evaluating thermal comfort.

As the web page introducing the tool states, the CBE’s objectives were, in part, to “Develop a web-based graphical user interface for thermal comfort prediction according to ASHRAE Standard 55. Include models for conventional building systems (predicted mean vote) and also for comfort using the adaptive comfort model, and with increased air speeds (for example, when using fans for cooling).”

Thinking About Temperature: Consequences (03-23-17)

Halali and colleagues learned that just thinking about temperature has a serious effect on how our brains work.  After the researchers got people thinking about temperature, by, for example, showing them various landscapes “associated with cool vs. warm temperatures [and asking them to imagine themselves in the location shown] . . . . cool compared to warm temperatures lead to improved performance on . . .

Environmental Control: Repercussions (03-14-17)

Shahzad and her team studied some of the implications of user control over temperature in their work areas.  The investigators “compared a workplace, which was designed entirely based on individual control over the thermal environment, to an environment that limited thermal control was provided as a secondary option for fine-tuning: Norwegian cellular and British open plan offices. The Norwegian approach provided each user with control over a window, door, blinds, heating and cooling as the main thermal control system.

Stressors and Performance (02-23-17)

Lamb and Kwok looked at the effects of workplace stressors on performance.  They report on a study that collected data from office workers over 8 months: “Participants completed a total of 2261 online surveys measuring perceived thermal comfort, lighting comfort and noise annoyance, measures of work performance, and individual state factors underlying performance and wellbeing.


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