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 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.
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.
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.
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. . . .
Choudhury has integrated findings from his and other’s working from anywhere-related research to detail emerging best practices; his article is available without charge at the web address noted below. Choudhury’s material is useful to anyone developing a working from anywhere program or looking for insights into environments that support working from anywhere. As Choudhury states in the overview for his article, “The pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.
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.
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. . . .
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, https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2020.1854352
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.