design psychology

Mental Health and Coastal Living (10-01-19)

Garrett and colleagues investigated links between how close people live to the coast and self-reported mental health.  They determined that “Living ≤1 km from the coast was associated with better mental health for urban adults. . . . this was only among the lowest-earning households.”  Also, “self-reported general health in England is higher among populations living closer to the coast, and the association is strongest amongst more deprived groups. . . . For urban adults, living ≤1 km from the coast, in comparison to >50 km, was associated with better mental health. . . .

Letter Sequences Matter (09-30-19)

King and Auschaitrakul evaluated how patterns in the first letters of words in statements influence conclusions drawn; their findings are relevant when brand claims are presented, for example.  The researchers determined that “consumers are able to unconsciously perceive the mere sequence of symbols contained in a brand claim, and . . . this sequence information influences judgments of truth.

Biophilic Design and Wellbeing (09-27-19)

Africa, Heerwagen, Loftness, and Balagtas identify ways that biophilic design can support the wellbeing of people and the planet.  They report that “Natural settings like landscaped campuses, atria, rooftops, and shoreline esplanades that embody or recall an oasis of ecological normalcy (e.g., the experience of seasons, historical leisure activities or the passage of time) foster psychological stability and anchor resilience.

Experiences in Tall Buildings (09-26-19)

What’s it like to live or work in a tall building, one with 30 or more floors?  Ng reviewed “recent empirical studies on occupants’ perception of tall buildings, and physiological and psychological experiences in relation to its tallness. Occupants perceive better view, less noise, and better air quality as benefits for living and working on higher floors than on lower floors. However, occupants also expressed concerns about height, difficulty with vertical transportation, strong wind, and escape in case of fire.”

Workplace Personalization (09-25-19)

Research conducted by Felix and Cavazotte confirms that workplace personalization can have psychological benefits.  The duo report that “Individuals are sometimes unable to realize their callings in their formal careers. . . . We developed a grounded theory regarding how people cope with their unanswered callings through . . . workplace personalization. Our study revealed that through this strategy, individuals retain the aspects of an unanswered calling in their self-concept and then reduce the consequences of not realizing the calling.

Stairs and Thinking (09-24-19)

Stenling and colleagues investigated the effects of climbing stairs on mental performance and mood and their findings generally support design that encourages people to take the stairs.  The researchers “examined the effects of stair-climbing intervals on subsequent cognitive performance and mood in healthy young adults [mean age 19]. . . . Participants visited the lab on two occasions, one week apart, and completed one control session (no exercise) and one stair-climbing session (3 x 1 min stair-climbing intervals) with cognitive performance and mood assessed at the end of each session. .

Art, Meanings (09-23-19)

Schepman and Rodway evaluated meanings attributed to abstract and representational art.  Working with adults who were not art experts, they found that meanings attributed to artworks “were shared to a somewhat greater extent for representational art but that meanings for abstract artworks were also shared above baseline. . . . analyses . . . showed core shared meanings for both art types, derived from literal and metaphoric interpretations of visual elements. The findings support the view that representational art elicits higher levels of shared meaning than abstract art.”

Eating and Decision-Making (09-20-19)

Design can support effective decision-making by providing access to places where people can prepare food and eat comfortably, at workplaces and other similar locations outside the home.  Organizational policies and procedures are key for the effective use of these spaces.  Benjamin Vincent and Jordan Skrynka determined that “hunger significantly altered people’s decision-making, making them impatient and more likely to settle for a small reward that arrives sooner than a larger one promised at a later date. . . .

A Problematic Pattern (09-19-19)

A recent press release from the Association for Psychological Science indicates that there is an issue with the design of the most recently released iPhone.  The press release reports that “The three camera lenses on the new Pro and Pro Max phones have sparked reactions from people who suffer from trypophobia—a fear of clusters of small holes like those found in English muffins, honeycomb, or lotus flowers. . . . complaints about the iPhone design have drawn attention to a seminal 2013 study published in Psychological Science.  Vision scientists Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins. . .

Yellow! (09-18-19)

Hu, Rosa, and Andersonstudied the feasibility of using yellow in situations where safety is important and found it is a good option when timely visibility is important.  They investigated if “yellow differentially influence[s] attention and action and if so is this related to purely visual or affective factors? . .


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