Framework for Reaction to Place

Light and Risk Taking (08-16-17)

Glimcher and Tymula studied the effects of outdoor light intensity on risk taking behavior over a two-year period.  They “found that increased luminance leads to less risk taking. . . . the effects are . . . consistent, significant.”  Some useful definitions: “Risk attitudes refer to people’s willingness to take known risks. . . . ‘luminance’ is a measurement of the amount of light that falls on the surface of the earth.

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

The Power of Color (08-14-17)

Fulcher and Hayes’s work confirms that surface colors send powerful messages.  The duo worked with a group of children from 5 to 10 years old (average age a little over 7) finding that “children took longer to build a feminine object [feminine: cat; masculine: dinosaur] with blue bricks than with pink bricks. In the free-play task, boys built more masculine objects than girls did, regardless of the color of bricks they were given. . . . . These findings suggest that toy color and type can impact how children interact and play with toys.”

Typefaces and Taste (08-03-17)

Typefaces bring different sorts of tastes to mind.  Velasco and his team have found via a study with words written in 3 languages (Spanish, English, and Chinese) and conducted with participants from 3 countries (Columbia, the United Kingdom, and China) that  “People associate tastes and taste words (e.g., “bitter,” “sweet,” etc.) with shape features in predictable ways. . . . rounder typefaces were reliably associated with the word sweet, whereas more angular typefaces were associated with the other tastes in all 3 languages and countries. . . .

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. . . .

Enjoying Activities (07-07-17)

Chim and her colleagues studied the alignment between people’s preferred mood and their responses to the activities they’re engaged in.  The investigators determined that “people derive more enjoyment from activities that match how they ideally want to feel (their “ideal affect”). . . . the authors conducted 4 studies that examined whether valuing calm and other low arousal positive states (LAP) increased enjoyment of calming (vs. exciting) activities. . . .  the more participants valued LAP, the more enjoyment they experienced during calming (vs.


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