Evidence continues to grow indicating that people who are depressed have different visual experiences than those who are not. Meuwese found that when “After viewing a stressful video, participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions, in which they watched a video of a walk in either (1) natural, or (2) built surroundings. . . . In both experiments, participants with more (rather than less) depressive symptoms displayed more stress reduction after viewing nature rather than built settings. . . . People with more depressive symptoms benefited more from viewing nature. . .
Sui and colleagues have determined that different sorts of seated experiences influence our psychological wellbeing in varying ways, with, in general greater levels of sedentary behavior linked to lower wellbeing. The team reports that via a literature review they found that “most studies demonstrated a weak, detrimental association between indices of SB [sedentary behavior] and outcomes of hedonic well-being . . . device-based SB was either weakly and negatively related or unrelated to hedonic well-being outcomes. . . .
Sabiniewicz directed a research team that found that adding scents to virtual reality experiences may affect how pleasant they seem. The group determined via a project during which “participants were divided into three groups, including two experimental virtual reality (VR) environments [still scenes]: a rose garden, an orange basket, and a control condition. In each VR condition, participants were exposed to a rose odor, an orange odor, or no odor. . . Virtual scenarios tended to be remembered as more pleasant when presented with congruent odors [i.e., rose odor with the rose garden]. .
Physical and other concerns related to birthing suite design were studied by Carlsson, Larsson, and Jormfeldt. Their literature review reports “a need to create a space for childbirth underpinned by four aspects; a homely space, a spiritual space, a safe space, and a territorial space. . . . A homely space was characterized by a place where the woman didn´t have to adapt to the environment. . . . In essence, a homely space contributed to a feeling of being at home, a non-threatening, comfortable relaxing space for the women, which implied a sense of belonging. . . .
Van Nes applied space syntax principles at the city level. He found that “shop owners always search for an optimal location to reach as many customers as possible. If the accessibility to this optimal location is affected by changes in a city’s road and street structure, it will affect the location pattern of shops. . . . how an inner ring road is connected to and the type of the street network it is imposed upon dictates the resulting location pattern of shops. Shops locate and relocate themselves along the most spatially-integrated streets. . .
In cooperation with a research team at the Technical University of Munich, Stora Enso has released a white paper detailing health and wellbeing benefits of living and working in spaces with wood design elements. It is available free of charge at the web address noted below. Research indicates, for example, that “wood has beneficial effects. . . .
Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”). The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . .
Mahmoudzadeh and teammates add to the literature linking worker lighting control and workplace experiences. The group found that when “participants took part in a 3-phased experiment with immersive virtual environments (IVEs). . . . The results of the research revealed that an energy efficient interactive lighting system that gave the participants a perception of control satisfied the participants in terms of lighting the same as a conventional lighting system that gave them full control. . .
Researchers have found that initial sensory experiences color responses to future ones. Jain, Nayakankuppam, and Gaeth, in a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,report that “Once a price is mentioned, that number serves as the basis for — or ‘anchors’ — all future discussions and decisions. But new research shows. . . anchoring even occurs in perceptual domains, like sight, sound, and touch. . . . [the researchers] conducted several studies involving different senses.
Researchers have found that having COVID-19 seems to influence people’s responses to machines; these findings, published in iScience, have practical implications for both design and management, for instance. Gratch lead a team that determined that “people affected by COVID-19 [as determined by measurements of stress] are showing more goodwill — to humans and to human-like autonomous machines. ‘The new discovery here is that when people are distracted by something distressing, they treat machines socially like they would treat other people.