architecture psychology

Lighting for Video Conferencing (04-09-20)

The Lighting Research Center (LRC:  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is making available, at the YouTube address noted below, a short tutorial on the best lighting for at-home video conferences; the insights shared by this prestigious research team are also applicable in conference rooms at employer owned/managed facilities.  As the LRC team shares “Whether you are taking part in a virtual meeting with colleagues, participating in a job interview, or giving a presentation, you want to make sure that you look your best, and that people can clearly understand you.

Automation and Morality (04-08-20)

Gill evaluated links between judgments of morality and automation.  He reports that “Building on recent work on AV [autonomous vehicle/car] morality, the current research examined how people resolve the dilemma between protecting self versus a pedestrian, and what they expect an AV to do in a similar situation. Five studies revealed that participants considered harm to a pedestrian more permissible with an AV as compared to self as the decision agent in a regular car.

Image Assessments (04-07-20)

Virtanen and colleagues investigated the criteria used to evaluate image quality.  They report that “Various image elements, such as sharpness or naturalness, can impact how observers view images and, more directly, how they evaluate their quality. . . . we conducted a study with a large set of images with multiple overlapping distortions, covering a wide range of quality variation. Observers assigned a quality rating of the images on a 0–10 scale and gave a verbal description explaining the elements on which their rating was based. . . .

Repeated Sensory Experiences (04-06-20)

Recent research by Gao, Fillmore, and  Scullin confirms the value of repeated exposure to the same stimuli during the learning process;  it also validates the powerful links between memories and sensory stimuli and the fact that linked memories can be reactivated when stimuli are repeated. The team reports on research related to targeting reactivation of memories (TMR) during sleep: “undergraduate students completed a college-level microeconomics lecture (mathematics-based) while listening to distinctive classical music (Chopin, Beethoven, and Vivaldi).

Food Temperature and Assessments (04-03-20)

Yamim, Mai, and Werle investigated the affects of the temperature of food being eaten on judgments made about that food; future studies indicating the potential generalizability of their findings may lead to intriguing applications of their work. The researchers report that “This research proposes that consumers spontaneously infer that warm foods contain more calories, an unexplored lay belief we named the ‘warm is calorie-rich’intuition.

An Audience While Choosing (04-02-20)

Zwebner and Schrift report on the repercussions of being in view of others while making decisions.  They share that “The present work . . . .[investigates] how consumers react to being observed during the preference-construction stage (i.e., prior to reaching their decision). . . . eight studies . . . find that being observed prior to reaching the decision threatens consumers’ sense of autonomy in making the decision, resulting in an aversion to being observed. Further, we find that such threats lead consumers to terminate their decision by avoiding purchase or by choosing default options.

Retail Color (04-01-20)

Cho and Suh studied the implications of use of combinations of particular colors in retail environments.  They report that “An environment simulating a hypothetical retail store was developed using a 3D rendering program. . . . When viewing the images, participants were asked to identify which images looked most luxurious. . . . dark colors used in large amounts of surface were perceived as more luxurious than light colors. . .

Pavements and Flooding (03-31-20)

Particular pavement types can increase the probability of flooding.  Blum lead a team that found that “for every percentage point increase of roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, annual floods increase on average by 3.3%. This means that if an undeveloped river basin increases the amount of impervious surfaces from zero to 10%, scientists would expect, on average, a 33% increase in annual flooding. . . .

Viruses Indoors (03-30-20)

How interior environments influence virus spread was investigated by Iwasaki, Moriyama, and Hugentobler.  The researchers report that “seasonal moderation of relative humidity — the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity — could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission. (Viruses could still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises.) . . . there is a sweet spot in relative humidity for indoor environments, the review found.

Benefits of Nature-Based Experiences (03-27-20)

Weir reports on the findings of numerous studies that have established the psychological value of nature-based experiences.  The material related to experiencing nature while indoors have the widest applicability. Weir states, for example, that “Berman and colleagues found that study participants who listened to nature sounds like crickets chirping and waves crashing performed better on demanding cognitive tests than those who listed to other sounds like traffic and the clatter of a busy café. . . . .

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