Framework for Reaction to Place

A Time for Cute Pictures (06-08-20)

Yoshikawa, Nittono, and Masaki detail the cognitive benefits of looking at cute images.  They report that “QE [quiet eye] is a gaze phenomenon, and its duration . . . is thought to represent attention control. . . . several studies have confirmed that viewing cute pictures can induce focal attention, thus improving performance in fine motor tasks. . . . We randomly assigned participants to either the baby-animal pictures group or the adult-animal pictures group, based on pictures viewed prior to the task. . . .

The Shape of Personal Spaces (06-04-20)

Yu, Xiong, and  Lee evaluated the shapes of personal spaces among Chinese people. They report that “Participants were required to determine their IPS [interpersonal space] in eight directions (0°, 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, 315°) when approached by male or female confederates. . . .   IPS was significantly influenced by direction . . . with the largest distance in the front (0°) and the closest distance in the rear (135°, 180°, 225°). . . . Participants maintained a larger IPS . . . with a male confederate than a female confederate. . . IPS . . .

Judging Distances (06-02-20)

Kolarik and colleagues investigated how perceptions of distances are influenced by impaired vision; their findings are particularly useful for the development of spaces that people with compromised vision are likely to use.  The researchers determined that “Blindness leads to substantial enhancements in many auditory abilities, and deficits in others. . . .  we show that greater severity of visual loss is associated with increased auditory judgments of distance and room size.

Implications of Environmental Order (06-01-20)

Li, Liu, and Li studied the effects of being in an orderly environment on thoughts and behaviors.  They share that previous research has shown that “Environmental orderliness can affect both self-control behaviors and creative thinking.”  Their work “investigated the moderating effect of trait [inherently characteristic of a person] self-control on environmental orderliness influencing both self-control behaviors and creative thinking. . . . Participants exposed to an orderly or a disorderly room were asked to complete a breath-holding task measuring self-control. . . .

Music Response Variability (05-28-20)

Chew, Lambiase, and colleagues studied physiological and emotional variations from one person to another in responses to music heard.  Their work indicates that someone can “Play the same piece of music to two people, and their hearts can respond very differently. . . .  patients with mild heart failure requiring a pacemaker were invited to a live classical piano concert. . . . Professor Chew said: ‘Even though two people might have statistically significant changes across the same musical transition, their responses could go in opposite directions.

Thinking with Things (05-27-20)

Malafouris’ work highlights the psychological implications of the things that fill our world.  As he reports, “We think ‘with’ and ‘through’ things, not simply ‘about’ things. . . . to think and to feel, we need more than a brain. Brain regions work in concert, but they are never alone; rather, they are always parts of broader systems extending beyond skin and skull. . . . New artifacts create novel relations and understandings of the world. New materialities bring about new modes of acting and thinking. . . .


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