Framework for Reaction to Place

Effort and Beauty (06-06-22)

Liu and colleagues probed how physical effort relates to assessments of natural beauty; their findings linking effort and judgments made are likely applicable more broadly than the tested condition.  They report that “participants wearing a heavy backpack gave higher esthetic scores to and generate a strong attentional bias toward the green natural landscapes. Furthermore, the implicit association test (IAT) revealed that a green natural landscape was more readily associated with a high level of relaxation when the participants wore a backpack.

Environmental Psych In Action (05-26-22)

Sorokowska and colleagues investigated how personal space preferences influenced COVID-19’s spread; interpersonal spacing is a core environmental psychology research area.  The Sorokowska-lead team report that “it was explored if interpersonal distance preferences . . . were valid measures of physical distancing in contacts between strangers and whether they related to country-level variation in early dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 spread.

Merging Smell and Taste (05-20-22)

Some researchers are suggesting that smell and taste be considered one sensory channel, not two.  A paper to be published in The Quarterly Review of Biology written by Mollo and 14 colleagues “proposes the unification of all chemosensory modalities into a single sense. . . . The paper thus envisages a rupture with what emerges as one of the most deeply rooted confirmation biases in the scientific literature: the differentiation between gustation (taste) and olfaction (smell). . . .

Scent Show (05-19-22)

An exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco; February 12 to June 5, 2022, “Living with Scents”) focuses on scent-based experiences.  The show’s website reports that “researchers and practitioners, from the neurosciences to the humanities, have strived to gain a better understanding of the sense of smell, which deeply, yet often unknowingly, shapes the way we live: our eating habits, our social interactions, our emotions, memories, and even our well-being and safety. . . . scents may thus be purposefully used to improve many aspects of our lives. . . .

Multisensory Integration (05-10-22)

What factors influence how we integrate information from multiple sources?  Scheller and Sui found that “When interacting with the environment, humans exhibit robust biases toward information that pertains to themselves: Self-relevant information is processed faster and yields more accurate responses than information linked to others. . . . the present findings suggest that social relevance can influence multisensory processing at both perceptual and postperceptual stages.”

Making Judgments (05-06-22)

Beeler and colleagues set out to learn more about how opinions are formed.  They focused on judgments of digital assistant technologies, but what they learned can no doubt be extrapolated to other contexts.  The investigators determined that “ability assessments are dependent upon both the use context (i.e., automation versus augmentation; disclosure of automation) and individual characteristics (i.e., consumer mood state and consumer preference for human interaction). . . .

Image Size and Evaluations (05-05-22)

Huang, Wang, and Chan investigated how image sizes on packages influence assessments of contents; their findings may be applicable more broadly.  The investigators learned that “larger (vs. smaller) food images on food packages can positively influence consumers' initial product attitudes toward the food (i.e., purchase likelihood). . . . Compared with smaller food images, larger ones improve purchase likelihood. . . . this effect is only observed for vice (vs. virtue) foods.”

Impressions of Travel Destinations (05-04-22)

Kah and teammates gathered information that can be immediately applied by people in the travel industry, among others.  They report that “Every destination needs to create a unique identity to sustain competition. . . . two single senses including vision and touch are most positively associated with all types of travel destination identity. . . . when combining the senses, the vision and smell are the most effective to create a travel destination identity rather [sic] combinations of vision and touch, which are effective senses when acting individually.”

Art Metaphors (05-03-22)

Crawford and Juricevic studied the use of metaphors in art. They share that they “analyze[d] the literal and metaphorical use of the pictorial device of exaggerated size in 59 well-known works of art sampled from across history. Exaggerated size was chosen for analysis because it is often used literally (e.g., to depict an actual giant) or metaphorically (e.g., to depict an existential concern). . . . when metaphoric and literal information conflicts [in art], viewers favor metaphoric interpretations. . . .

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