architecture psychology

Zoo Design (10-10-19)

Gabriel and Montenegro confirm that the design of the spaces where animals are exhibited influences the opinions zoo-goers form of those animals.  The researchers had people view “animals in wild, naturalistic, front cage bar, or back cage bar settings with a name-only control. . . . Perceptions of docility increased and vigor decreased as the naturalness of the environment declined.”

Alarming Sounds (10-09-19)

Arnal and teammates probed what sorts of sounds alarm humans.  They found that “One strategy, exploited by alarm signals, consists in emitting fast but perceptible amplitude modulations in the roughness range (30–150 Hz). . . . Rough sounds synchronise activity throughout superior temporal regions, subcortical and cortical limbic areas, and the frontal cortex, a network classically involved in aversion processing.”  Rough sounds from 40-80 Hz are especially unpleasant for us to hear.  The 40-80 Hz range is where the frequencies of babies crying, human screams, and many alarms are found.

Greenconsumption: Effects (10-08-19)

Tezer and Bodur evaluated the effects of environmentally responsible situations on how people feel. They determined that their “research explores how using a green product (e.g., a pair of headphones made from recycled materials) influences the enjoyment of the accompanying consumption experience (e.g., listening to music), even if consumers have not deliberately chosen or purchased the product. Five experiments in actual consumption settings revealed that using a green (vs.

Tips on Presenting Options (10-07-19)

De Bellis and colleagues investigated product customization.  They report that “Mass customization interfaces typically guide consumers through the configuration process in a sequential manner, focusing on one product attribute after the other. . . . A series of large-scale field and experimental studies, conducted with Western and Eastern consumers, shows that matching the interface to consumers’ culture-specific processing style enhances the effectiveness of mass customization.

Greenspaces and Health (10-04-19)

Keijzer and colleagues set out to confirm the health benefits of living near greenspaces.  They determined that “More residential surrounding greenspace was associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome. . . . Metabolic syndrome is an important risk factor for non-communicable diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. . . . The present longitudinal study was based on data from four clinical examinations between 1997 and 2013 in 6076 participants of the Whitehall II study, UK (aged 45–69 years at baseline).

Prison Nature (10-03-19)

Moran determined that nature experiences, “real” or via images, have a restorative effect on people in prison, they seem to reduce their mental fatigue.  She reports “results of a survey of prisoners at a large medium-security prison for men in the United Kingdom. It reflects on prisoners' experiences in relation to elements of the environment in which they reside; specifically, outdoor green spaces and green views in the form of whole-wall photographic images of the natural environment.

Lighting Art (10-02-19)

Pelowski and colleagues studied how gallery lighting influences appraisals and emotional experience of visual art.    They report that when “Participants viewed a selection of original representational and abstract art under three different CCT [temperature] conditions. . . . The selected lighting temperatures were chosen based on an initial investigation of existing art museums within the Vienna area. . . . We also allowed the same participants to set the light temperature themselves in order to test hypotheses regarding what might be an ‘ideal’ lighting condition for art.

Mental Health and Coastal Living (10-01-19)

Garrett and colleagues investigated links between how close people live to the coast and self-reported mental health.  They determined that “Living ≤1 km from the coast was associated with better mental health for urban adults. . . . this was only among the lowest-earning households.”  Also, “self-reported general health in England is higher among populations living closer to the coast, and the association is strongest amongst more deprived groups. . . . For urban adults, living ≤1 km from the coast, in comparison to >50 km, was associated with better mental health. . . .

Letter Sequences Matter (09-30-19)

King and Auschaitrakul evaluated how patterns in the first letters of words in statements influence conclusions drawn; their findings are relevant when brand claims are presented, for example.  The researchers determined that “consumers are able to unconsciously perceive the mere sequence of symbols contained in a brand claim, and . . . this sequence information influences judgments of truth.

Biophilic Design and Wellbeing (09-27-19)

Africa, Heerwagen, Loftness, and Balagtas identify ways that biophilic design can support the wellbeing of people and the planet.  They report that “Natural settings like landscaped campuses, atria, rooftops, and shoreline esplanades that embody or recall an oasis of ecological normalcy (e.g., the experience of seasons, historical leisure activities or the passage of time) foster psychological stability and anchor resilience.


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