Framework for Reaction to Place

Density’s Consequences (05-24-21)

Research into during-pandemic experiences continues to be published.  Cavazza and colleagues, reporting on data collected in Italy, share that “COVID-19 lockdown measures forced people to stay indoors 24/7s. . . . .  household crowding during the lockdown was positively associated with support for anti-democratic political systems. . . .  These associations did not depend on participants’ pre-pandemic socio-economic status and predisposition to strong political leaders.”

Social Robots and Responses to Technology (05-19-21)

Architectural researchers have found that when robots doing utilitarian tasks, such as removing garbage or moving equipment, talk and, specifically, when they speak with the local accent of wherever they are, that people who see and hear them at work may be more accepting of new technologies in their lives.  The robots with the local accents studied were boxy, they did not have human-like forms.

Moonlight and Sleep (05-18-21)

Casiraghi and colleagues’ work indicates how tightly the experiences of all humans are tied to stimuli in the natural world.  The researchers used “wrist actimetry to show a clear synchronization of nocturnal sleep timing with the lunar cycle in participants living in environments that range from a rural setting with and without access to electricity in indigenous Toba/Qom communities in Argentina to a highly urbanized postindustrial setting in the United States.  Our results show that sleep starts later and is shorter on the nights before the full moon when moonlight is available during th

Odors and Opinions (05-17-21)

Research by Syrjanen and colleagues, linking responses to faces and odors smelled while evaluating them, can likely to applied in additional contexts.  The investigators found via a literature review that “Generally, the results indicate that facial expressions are classified more rapidly in the context of odors. Apart from a few studies that show face-odor valence congruency effects, the most consistent finding is that valenced odors affect perceived face valence overall (e.g., faces are perceived as more unpleasant in an unpleasant odor condition).”

Pink Drink Power (05-14-21)

Pink drinks seem to have particularly powerful effects on our physical performance.  Researchers from the University of Westminster have found that “pink drinks can help to make you run faster and further compared to clear drinks. . . . a pink drink can increase exercise performance by 4.4 per cent and can also increase a ‘feel good’ effect which can make exercise seem easier.”All drinks evaluated were exactly the same except for their color. This study is published in Frontiers in Nutrition.  

Positive Responses to Curves (05-13-21)

Ruta and colleagues probe humans’ positive feelings toward curved things.  They report that “Preference for curvature has been demonstrated using many types of stimuli, but it remains an open question whether curvature plays a relevant role in responses to original artworks. To investigate this, a novel set of paintings was created, consisting of 3 variations—curved, sharp-angled, and mixed—of the same 16 indeterminate subjects. . . . participants assigned higher ratings to the curved compared to the sharp-angled version of the paintings.

Children and Nature (05-11-21)

Walshe and Moula confirm that children (age 7 and 8) link nature to positive experiences; the Walshe/Moula study is published in Child Indicators Research.  The research duo determined that “Young children in deprived areas see nature and outdoor spaces as being associated with “happy places”. . . . [the researchers asked study participants] to draw their happy place. . . .  More than half of the children created drawings that included aspects of nature and outdoor spaces, such as trees, grass, parks, gardens, lakes, rivers, outdoor playgrounds, rainbows or sunlight.

Sounds and Shapes, in English (05-10-21)

Sidhu and colleagues have extended research findings previously derived with nonwords to English words.  The group reports that “Sound symbolism refers to associations between language sounds (i.e., phonemes) and perceptual and/or semantic features. One example is the maluma/takete effect: an association between certain phonemes (e.g., /m/, /u/) and roundness [as, for example, with maluma], and others (e.g., /k/, /ɪ/) and spikiness [as, for instance, with takete]. While this association has been demonstrated in laboratory tasks with nonword stimuli. . . .

Cross Cultural Comfort (05-06-21)

Vink and colleagues have thoroughly studied how physical comfort is evaluated in different countries. They report that “A questionnaire was sent to participants out in nine countries (Brazil, Canada, the USA, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands). . . . All countries score the comfort of a luxurious bed higher than a simple bed, first-class seats higher than economy class and all countries rate the comfort lower when the duration of sitting increases.

Temperatures and Liking (05-05-21)

Erkan investigated how temperature influences “architectural liking.”   Study participants experienced “a virtual reality environment at three different temperatures (15°C, 22°C, 30°C). . . .  An EEG device was used to determine the cognitive activities of the participants during space navigation. In addition, an eye-tracking device was used in virtual reality goggles to identify the areas that participants were looking at. It was determined that the architectural preferences of the people changed depending on the temperature of the space. . . .

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