Framework for Reaction to Place

Letter Case Effects (04-08-21)

Yu and colleagues probed the implications of names appearing in UPPERCASE or lowercase letters; their findings are useful to people developing signage, etc.  The Yu-lead team determined via eight experiments that “consumers perceive brands that use all uppercase letters (‘uppercase brands’) as more premium than those that use all lowercase letters (‘lowercase brands’). . . .  The effect is reversed for consumers who prefer subtle signals (‘inconspicuous consumers’) because these consumers are likely to perceive a conspicuous uppercase brand as gaudy. . .

Moving to Activity-Based Workplaces (03-30-21)

Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”).  The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . .

Sensory Experience Sequences (03-26-21)

Researchers have found that initial sensory experiences color responses to future ones.  Jain, Nayakankuppam, and Gaeth, in a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,report that “Once a price is mentioned, that number serves as the basis for — or ‘anchors’ — all future discussions and decisions. But new research shows. . . anchoring even occurs in perceptual domains, like sight, sound, and touch. . . .  [the researchers] conducted several studies involving different senses.

COVID-19 and Responses to Machines (03-25-21)

Researchers have found that having COVID-19 seems to influence people’s responses to machines; these findings, published in iScience, have practical implications for both  design and management, for instance. Gratch lead a team that determined that “people affected by COVID-19 [as determined by measurements of stress] are showing more goodwill — to humans and to human-like autonomous machines. ‘The new discovery here is that when people are distracted by something distressing, they treat machines socially like they would treat other people.

Messages Sent by Shapes (03-11-21)

Chen and colleagues studied the nonverbal messages sent by package shapes; their findings are useful to designers more generally.  The Chen-lead team determined that “a tall, slender package creates the perception of higher brand status to a significantly greater extent than a short, wide package. Therefore, retailers in the high-end market can stock more products in tall, slender packages to communicate and enhance their positioning. . . . Retailers in the low-end market, on the other hand, face more complicated decisions. Should they stock more products in short, wide packages?

Following a Lead (03-08-21)

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].”

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