design psychology

Park-Based Experiences (07-10-20)

Researchers evaluated how perceptions of park safety influence user experiences. Orstad, Jay, Szuhany, Thorpe, and Tamura (findings published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health) found that “New Yorkers are more likely to exercise in a park if they believe they live very close to it [a less than 5-minute walk away compared to a 30-minute walk]. In turn, they feel less anxious and less depressed the more often they exercise there—but only if they are not concerned about being safe. . . .

Children’s Changing Experiences with Nature (07-09-20)

Novotny and colleagues probed how children’s experiences of nature are evolving over time.  They “compared the experience with nature of today’s children with data from the beginning of the 20th century to determine whether we can confirm a loss of experience and contribute to the description of changes in children’s relationship with nature. . . . Results from contemporary participants . . . showed no difference in level of experience according to the age of the respondents. Comparing historical data . . . we found a significant increase in contemporary children’s summary experiences.

Touching Art (07-08-20)

Szubielska and Niestorowicz evaluated how responses to tactile art, art developed for people who are visually impaired, are influenced by being able to see that art.  They report that “By providing the context of a contemporary art exhibition designed to be touched, we studied haptic pleasure towards artworks. In line with our hypothesis, seeing affected the evaluation of haptic pleasure which was higher in the blindfolded-tactile than visuo-tactile condition. Thus, seeing seems to impede the tactile processing of artworks. . .

Neighborhood Satisfaction (07-07-20)

Neal probed factors that influence people’s satisfaction with their neighborhood and his findings are published in Urban Studies.  Neal determined that “’Contrary to what many would think, characteristics of your neighborhood have little to do with how satisfied you are with it’ [quote attributed to Neal]. . . . Neal’s research revisited findings from 27 earlier studies that spanned 11 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, and included a sample of more than 250,000 adults living in those neighborhoods. . . .

Interesting Link to Size (07-06-20)

Zhang and Zhang investigated ties between spatial size and assessments of wealth.  They report that they “explored whether social categorization based on wealth, which is an important dimension of social categorization, involved perceptual simulation of spatial size. . . . three experiments showed that responses to wealth-related stimuli in larger font were faster relative to those to the same stimuli in small font, and vice versa for poverty-related stimuli. These results suggest that social categorization based on wealth is grounded in perceptual simulation of spatial size.”

Accommodations and Creativity (07-03-20)

Man, Zhu, and Sun investigated how workplace accommodations influence employee creativity.  As the researchers report, “In the workplace, not only employees with disabilities ask for workplace accommodation to better perform in the job but also the older workers, pregnant women, and employees with religious needs and with family responsibilities need workplace accommodations.”  Workplace accommodations were defined by Man, Zhu, and Sun as they were by Colella and Bruyere (2011, p.

Battling Loneliness (07-02-20)

Abeyta, Routledge, and Kaslon’s work indicates how design may be used to counter loneliness, to some extent.  The team found that “Loneliness is difficult to overcome, in part because it is associated with negative social cognitions and social motivations. We argue that nostalgia, a positive emotional experience that involves reflecting on cherished memories, is a psychological resource that regulates these maladaptive intrapsychic tendencies associated with loneliness. . . .

Walkability and Longevity (07-01-20)

Researchers linked living in walkable neighborhoods to living longer.  A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, based on data collected in Washington state, written by Amram, Bhardwaj, Amiri, and Buchwald, determined that people “who live in highly walkable, mixed-age communities may be more likely to live to their 100th birthday.

Safer Schools (06-30-20)

The AIA has released a report “detailing strategies that can reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission in K-12 facilities.”  It is available at the web address noted below.  As the  AIA website noted below continues: “The report and 3D models were developed by a team of architects, public health experts, engineers and facility managers as part of AIA’s initiative, ‘Reopening America:  Strategies for safer buildings.’  The team used emerging research and public health data to develop the strategies, which can be implemented immediately.”        

Thinking About Disease and Making Decisions (06-29-20)

Huang and Sengupta studied how thinking about disease influences decisions made.  They investigated “how exposure to disease-related cues influences consumers’ preference for typical (vs. atypical) product options. . . . we predict that disease salience decreases relative preference for typical versus atypical options, because typical products are implicitly associated with many people, misaligning them with the people-avoidance motive triggered by disease cues. . . .

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