architecture psychology

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. . . .

Distracting Noises (05-04-21)

Gheewalla and colleagues assessed how distracting different sorts of noises are.  They learned, by having study participants complete reading comprehension tasks, that “Compared to working silence, white noise also reduced the efficiency of text comprehension.”

Fateema Gheewalla, Alastair McClelland, and Adrian Furnham. 2021.   “Effects of Background Noise and Extraversion on Reading Comprehension Performance.”  Ergonomics, vol. 64, no. 5,

Online and Physical Privacy Linked (04-30-21)

Anyone who’s puzzled over similarities and differences between online and physical privacy issues will be intrigued by research done by Shariff and colleagues.  This team reports that “Although people report grave concern over their data privacy, they take little care to protect it. We suggest that this privacy paradox can be understood in part as the consequence of an evolutionary mismatch: Privacy intuitions evolved in an environment that was radically different from the one found online.

Images and Student Opinions (04-29-21)

Devlin and colleagues evaluated how classroom images seen by prospective college students influence their opinions of colleges and universities.  Their findings are likely applicable both in this context and others. The Devlin-lead team found that when “participants read a scenario about a college too far away to visit and viewed a website picture of a seminar room (unrenovated or renovated) before responding to measures of classroom satisfaction and college academic life more broadly (e.g., student retention).. . . . Classroom status . . .

In Honor of Spring: Blue Birds! (04-28-21)

Researchers have assessed bird photos, looking for clues about preferred images and report that people prefer birds that are blue, just as they prefer blue in other contexts.  Thommes and Hayn-Leichsenring share that they “collected over 20,000 photos of birds from the photo-sharing platform Instagram with their corresponding liking data. . . . The colors of the depicted bird . . . significantly affected the liking behavior of the online community, replicating and generalizing previously found human color preferences. . . .

Adding Augmented Reality (04-27-21)

Adding augmented reality experiences can increase sales.  Tan, Chandukala, and Reddy report, in a study published in the Journal of Marketing,that “AR transforms static objects into interactive, animated three-dimensional objects, helping marketers create fresh experiences that captivate and entertain customers. . . . . AR is also an effective medium to deliver content and information to customers. . . . AR can also be used to provide in-store wayfinding and product support. . . .

Designing Flexible Classrooms (04-26-21)

Research completed by Bekiroglu and teammates indicates the value of incorporating opportunities for flexibility and movement into higher-education classrooms.  The team report that their research determined that “(a) flexible room layout and movable furniture enabled participants to create settings that could support students’ group interactions; (b) flexible room layout and movable tools enabled people to move around to enhance student–to–student and teacher–to–student interaction; and (c) through the movement of furniture and tools and movement of people, participants were able to easily

Workgroup Adjacency Preferences (04-23-21)

Zhou and colleagues studied work groups’ adjacency preferences.  They investigated “a large company’s spatial adjacency planning with an in-depth analysis of its formal organizational structure and collaboration network. A sample of 183 managers was surveyed regarding groups with whom they want to be spatially adjacent and groups with whom they mostly interact. . . . .  The results suggest that department affiliation and collaboration relations are significantly correlated to adjacency preferences.

Effects of Active Learning, Teaching, Design (04-22-21)

Hao, Barnes, and Jing investigated the effects of college level active learning on educational outcomes; classroom layouts and furnishings can provide more or less support for active learning.  The researchers determined that “Active learning environments were found to have little influence, whereas active learning and teaching were found to have a significantly-positive influence on student achievements. . . . Active learning classrooms, characterised by open learning spaces, movable tables and seats, and learning technologies, are designed to better support effective learning. . . .

Subtracting! (04-21-21)

Klotz, Adams, and Converse studied human problem solving; their findings are relevant wherever and whenever humans act. A press release related to the trio’s work (recently published in Nature) reports that “When considering two broad possibilities for why people systematically default to addition — either they generate ideas for both possibilities and disproportionately discard subtractive solutions or they overlook subtractive ideas altogether — the researchers focused on the latter.


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