When people act in ways that their societies consider ethical, all can benefit. Environmental neuroscientists have developed a rich understanding of how design can encourage space and object users to be on their best behavior— and their insights can be applied in practice.
Follow Behavioral Norms
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. . . .
Meier and his team have confirmed one of the repercussions of being in an area that feels spacious.
Huangfu and team studied links between workplace cleanliness and employee attitudes toward counterproductive work behavior (CWB).
Batra and his colleagues investigated the relationship between tasting spicy food or seeing spicy food and how aggressive people are.
Visual complexity is an important driver of experience. Both too much and too little are bad for our mood and cognitive performance. Neuroscience research reveals how to manage visual complexity, disorder, and clutter.
Want people to obey the rules, do the right thing, keep out of mischief and just generally, behave in socially acceptable ways? Environmental neuroscientists have done a lot of research on how design can encourage space and object users to be on their best behavior—insights from their studies can be applied in practice.
Tidying shifts shopper behavior
Keeping sound in check improves behavior
How is what we see related to how ethically we behave?