Sadik and Kamardeen researched the professional implications of experiencing indoor nature (for example, inside plants, window views, pre-recorded nature sounds) and outdoor nature. They determined via a literature review that “indoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to social sustainability through its impact on workers' health and motivation while outdoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to economic, environmental and social sustainability through its impact on workers' restoration, stress reduction and stress coping.
Framework for Reaction to Place
Weingarten and Goodman’s research provides more nuanced insights into experiential consumption. They report that “A wealth of consumer research has proposed an experiential advantage: consumers yield greater happiness from purchasing experiences compared to material possessions. . . . the authors develop a model of consumer happiness and well-being based on psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, relatedness [need to feel social bonds to other humans], self-esteem, and meaningfulness), and conduct an experiential advantage meta-analysis to test this model. . .
Cupchik’s analysis supports efforts to provide users with moderate visual complexity. As he reports “Experimental aesthetics was founded in 1867 by Gustav Fechner and reinvigorated by Daniel Berlyne in 1974. . . . Berlyne used enhanced stimulus control and behavioral techniques to support Fechner’s idea that people prefer moderate levels of complexity.”
A research team headed by Hollander studied how we look at neighborhoods/cities. They conducted a study during which participants “looked at different scenes of New York City public buildings in a set up with an eye tracker in front of a monitor displaying images. Half of the images had design characteristics exemplary of traditional neighborhood design (TND) (like narrow streets, complex facades, and bilateral symmetry). Subjects tended to show greater eye fixation on building fenestration [openings in building envelope] in TND environments, as opposed to the non-TND environments.”
Research continues to detail the many, nuanced implications of seeing the color red. Pontes and Hoegg report that “Three studies demonstrate a red-derogation effect for married women’s judgments such that men are perceived to be less attractive and less sexually desirable when their profiles are displayed on a red versus a white background. We show that married (vs. single) women perceive the color red as a threat cue which, in turn, evokes avoidance tendencies. Our studies indicated that married (vs. single) women became more risk averse . . .
Fosgaard and colleagues investigated how being viewed by others influences our behavior. They determined that “when behavior is anonymous, uncertainty about which [social] norm guides partners reduces aggregate norm compliance. However, when others can observe behavior, introducing a small degree of norm uncertainty increases aggregate norm compliance. This implies that norm uncertainty may actually facilitate interaction as long as behavior is observable and uncertainty is sufficiently small.”
A research team lead by Battal confirms that individuals with atypical sensory capabilities may process stimuli differently. The investigators studied “auditory-localization abilities in 17 congenitally blind and 17 sighted individuals using a psychophysical minimum-audible-angle task that lacked sensorimotor confounds. Participants were asked to compare the relative position of two sound sources located in central and peripheral, horizontal and vertical, or frontal and rear spaces.
The uncanny valley phenomenon has been studied for many years. In a recent study, Wang, Cheong, Dilks, and Rochat report that “Human replicas highly resembling people tend to elicit eerie sensations—a phenomenon known as the uncanny valley. . . . [the Wang team’s] findings link perceived uncanniness in androids [robots with human type features] to the temporal dynamics of face animacy [how “alive” it seems to be] perception.” The uncanny valley effect arises when a machine appears nearly lifelike but not exactly the same as a true human.
Cox and colleagues’ work sheds new light on Stonehenge’s design and indicates the power of acoustic experiences. The researchers determined that “this ancient monument in southern England created an acoustic space that amplified voices and improved the sound of any music being played for people standing within the massive circle of stones. . . .
Research indicates, again, the value of carefully managing laptop and phone use during in-person discussions. Lindvig, Hermann, and Asgaard found, in the context of discussion-based classes in university classrooms, that when “all screens” were banned “‘Students felt compelled to be present — and liked it. When it suddenly became impossible to Google their way to an answer or more knowledge about a particular theorist, they needed to interact and, through shared reflection, develop as a group. It heightened their engagement and presence,’ explains Katrine Lindvig. . . .