Research recently completed by Rucker and Cannon indicates the importance of nonverbal communication. The Rucker/Cannon team’s findings are likely relevant in many contexts beyond the ones specifically tested. According to a study-related article in KelloggInsight, “Over several decades, researchers have observed a Range Rover-sized pile of benefits from conspicuously consuming luxury goods. High-status brands, these papers found, might help you get a date, obtain a job, secure a charitable donation, and receive more money in a negotiation. . .
Framework for Reaction to Place
How smart buildings should communicate with their users was investigated by Khashe, Gratch, Gratch, and Becerik-Gerber. They determined that “people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management. . . . social banter between machine and people gets better results. The findings underscore how personal connections and social interactions key to human relations also foster cooperation between people and machines. . . . subjects were exposed to an office setting using virtual reality, followed by a real office setting for a smaller group of participants.
Research recently published in Current Biologyindicates that men and women respond to places associated with chronic pain differently. These findings may be applicable to other life experiences. Mogil and Martin report that “Scientists increasingly believe that one of the driving forces in chronic pain—the number one health problem in both prevalence and burden—appears to be the memory of earlier pain. . . . there may be variations, based on sex, in the way that pain is remembered in . . . humans. The research team . . . found that men . . .
Leung and colleagues studied individuals’ responses to automation. They determined that “Automation often provides obvious consumption benefits, but six studies spanning a variety of product categories show that automation may not be desirable when identity motives are important drivers of consumption.
There are clear advantages to exercising in green environments. Wooller and colleagues determined that when “Fifty participants were randomly assigned to one of five groups: REST [sitting quietly on a cycle ergometer in front of a gray screen], exercise, exercise with nature sounds, exercise withnature visual and exercise with nature sound and visual. . . . Results showed that green exercise improved mood and stress scores more than exercise alone or REST.
Aesthetics have practical value
Dennis and colleagues investigated links between gender and shopping style and their findings have implications for retail design when it is more likely that a particular gender will shop at a particular website/location/etc. The team determined that their “survey of shopping behavior across 11 countries indicate though that men and women are evolutionarily predisposed to different shopping styles. . . . Our results show that men’s and women’s shopping styles reflect their respective, evolutionarily determined, and societal roles as hunters and gatherers. . . .
Research conducted with children may indicate a way to at least partially compensate for lack of nature views in areas where people are likely to feel stressed. Pearson and team collected data from pediatric hospital patients (2-18 years old) who were assigned to hospital rooms that either had no applique like overlays that partially covered the windows of their rooms or realistic overlays on their windows that were reminiscent of an undersea environment (“aquatic animals and sea plants”) or a wooded meadow (“greenery, trees, and grass”).
Ueda and teammates evaluated links between audio pitch and perceptions of size. They report that “information about the external world can be obtained from multisensory modalities and integrated. . . . we measured the correspondence between visual size and auditory pitch for each participant . . . participants were asked to resize virtual disks until they matched a corresponding sound; this was performed for five different frequencies. . . . the higher the pitch, the smaller the circle judged to match the sound.”
Wu, Moore, and Fitzsimons studied decision-making. They investigated “how consumers make unilateral decisions on behalf of the self and multiple others, in situations where the chosen option will be shared and consumed jointly by the group—for instance, choosing wine for the table. Results across six studies using three different choice contexts (wine, books, and movies) demonstrate that such choices are shaped by the decision-maker’s self-construal (independent versus interdependent) and by the size of the group being chosen for (large versus small). Specifically, we find that interdepend