Particular sorts of outdoor play spaces have more positive effects on children’s health and mental development. Researchers lead by Dankiw and Baldock determined that understanding “the importance of nature play could transform children’s play spaces, supporting investment in city and urban parks, while also delivering important opportunities for children’s physical, social and emotional development. . . . . [for] children aged 2-12 years . . . nature play improved children’s complex thinking skills, social skills and creativity. . . . this study . . .
Ingvarsdottir and Balkenius probed the relationship between the apparent weight of an object and how shiny/matte its finish is. They determined that when objects that are identical except for finish glossiness are picked up, one that has a shiny finish will be perceived to be heavier than one with a matte finish.
Besser and team studied the responses of several older user groups to neighborhood design. More specifically, they “examined whether neighborhood built environment (BE) and cognition associations in older adults vary by apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). . . . Neighborhood characteristics included social and walking destination density (SDD, WDD), intersection density, and proportion of land dedicated to retail. Individuals were categorized as APOE ε2 (lower AD risk), APOE ε4 (higher AD risk), or APOE ε3 carriers.
Stappers and colleagues investigated how user perceptions of neighborhood walkability influence movement by different groups. They determined via data collected in The Netherlands that “individuals with a lower level of education or health-related problems spent more time in the home neighborhood. The perceived neighborhood walkability only affected [empirically measured] NB-PA [neighborhood-based physical activity] for individuals spending a relatively large amount of time in their home neighborhood.
Kuwabara, Alonso, and Ayala studied perception across cultures. As they report “Previous studies investigating cultural differences in attention and perception have shown that individuals from Western countries (e.g., the U.S.) perceive more analytically [in a piecemeal fashion, with special attention to focal elements] whereas individuals from East Asian countries (e.g., Japan) perceive more holistically (e.g., Nisbett & Miyamoto, 2005). These differences have been shown in children as young as three years old (Kuwabara & Smith, 2016). . . .
Madzharov continues to conduct interesting studies related to sensory experiences. In a recent study, she looked at the implications of touching food directly with hands (instead of indirectly via utensils such as forks) while it is being eaten; eventually being able to extend her findings beyond this context would be useful. Madzharov determined that “for consumers who apply self-control in their food consumption (high self-control consumers) touching food directly with hands enhances the sensory experience and increases hedonic [pleasure-related] evaluations of the food [it seems tastie
Skavronskaya and colleagues studied how responses to novel experiences can evolve over time. They determined via an assessment of tourism related situations that “Novel experiences, whether positive or negative, were identified as critical to experience memorability. . . . Novelty contributes to how spatial, temporal and contextual details of tourism experiences are remembered and reconstructed due to the elicitation of intense emotions. Analysis revealed negative experiences deemed as novel were found to be re-evaluated and often remembered as a positive experience.”
Walker, Rett, and Bonawitz link design cues and learning. They studied if an object’s “design can facilitate recognition of abstract causal rules [systems]. In Experiment 1, . . . three-year-olds were presented with evidence consistent with a relational rule (i.e., pairs of same or different blocks activated a machine) using two differently designed machines. In the standard-design condition, blocks were placed on top of the machine; in the relational-design condition, blocks were placed into openings on either side.
A large team lead by Jackson determined that languages vary in how they link emotions; their findings may be useful to people conducting research in different parts of the world, for example. The group studied 24 terms for emotions in thousands of spoken languages, and report that “Many human languages have words for emotions such as ‘anger’ and ‘fear,’ yet it is not clear whether these emotions have similar meanings across languages, or why their meanings might vary.
Recently completed research indicates that potential users of bike sharing services are not willing to walk much to pick up that shared bike. Girotra, Belavina, and Kabra determined that “Even a relatively short walk to find the nearest bicycle is enough to deter many potential users of bike sharing systems. . . . outside of a few big stations at major transit hubs, cities and bike-share operators should strive to create denser networks with many smaller stations . . . and keep them stocked.. . . .