Cotneilio and colleagues studied relationships between sense of agency and scents. Sense of agency (SoA) is described as “ the feeling of ‘I did that’ as opposed to ‘the system did that’ supporting a feeling of being in control.” The team “investigated, for the first time, the effect of smell-induced emotions on the SoA. . . . participants were exposed to three scents with different valence (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral). Our results show that participants’ SoA increased with a pleasant scent compared to neutral and unpleasant scents.”
Gupta and Hagtvedt have done intriguing research related to the spacing between letters. Their “research demonstrates that interstitial space in textual brand logos—that is, spacious (vs. compact) arrangement of letters—unfavorably influences brand attitude by reducing product safety perceptions. When potential threats are salient, the effect tends to occur within tight (but not loose) cultures, characterized by sensitivity to threats and a need for rigid social structures. When threats are not salient, the effect appears to occur across cultures.
Investigators have identified several reasons for Zoom fatigue that are consistent with research previously done by environmental psychologists. Bailenson and colleagues, via a study published in Technology, Mind and Behavior, have determined, for example, that “Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense. . . . everyone is looking at everyone, all the time. . . . depending on your monitor size and whether you’re using an external monitor, faces on videoconferencing calls can appear too large for comfort. . .
Research completed by Jiang and colleagues indicates that plant scents can augment wellbeing. The Jiang lead team describe their research: “Non-fragrant Primula malacoides Franchwas used as a control stimulus, and Primula forbesii Franch, which has a floral fragrance, was used as an experimental stimulus. . . . We found that mean blood pressure and pulse rate decreased significantly after the experiment in both conditions. . . . the vitality (V) subscale and total emotional state scores were significantly better in the experimental vs. control condition. . . .
Radicchi lead a team probing the psychological implications of urban soundscapes. The group found that “At an international level it is recognised that urban noise has serious and negative public health impacts. . . . Urban designers and planners. . . . need an awareness of the immaterial cultural heritage of place – cultural events, festivals, sound marks and oral traditions, when dealing with the protection and renewal of the historical city. . . .
Parsons reviews current research on thermal comfort; material that can be usefully applied in a variety of environments, from offices to public spaces, indoors and outside. This text is useful to practitioners, from architects to ergonomists, and includes a model linking thermal conditions and human performance.
Ken Parsons. 2020. Human Thermal Comfort. Taylor & Francis; Boca Raton, FL.
Loder’s book shares useful insights on greening cities. In her introduction, Loder describes her text: it focuses on “how creatively bringing nature into cities can provide multiple benefits that can help to mitigate many of the urban problems we face. . . . Using new research and case studies on perceptions of small-scale urban greening projects . . .
Researchers link feelings of ownership to greater likelihood of helping others. Jami, Kouchaki, and Gino knew “from previous studies that touching an object increases psychological ownership. . . . Like touch, customization had been shown in previous studies to engender a sense of ownership. . . . participants [in the Jami, Kouchaki, and Gino study] whose sense of ownership had been activated were more generous than those in the control group. . . .
Fokkinga, Desmet, and Hekkert assessed the dimensions of human experience of design. After collecting data via a series of expert workships the trio identified three levels of user-product interactions “At the base, user-product interaction evokes three types of direct product experience: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. The second level describes more indirect and long-term types of impact: on behaviors, attitudes, (general) experiences, and users’ and stakeholders’ knowledge.
Rosenthal and colleagues studied how color is experienced in the brain. They report that they used “multivariate analyses of measurements of brain activity obtained with magnetoencephalography to reverse-engineer a geometry of the neural representation of color space. . . . We evaluate the approach by relating the results to universal patterns in color naming. . . . prominent patterns of color naming could be accounted for by the decoding results: the greater precision in naming warm colors compared to cool colors.”