design psychology

Quick Mental Refreshment (07-05-21)

Kimura and colleagues assessed the how mentally refreshing various situations are.  They report that they conducted an experiment that “involved measuring the changes in the task performance of the participants (i.e., sustained attention to response task) and the subjective mental workload . . . while the attention restoration was indexed from physiological response (i.e., skin conductance level, SCL) over time.

Sounds and Shapes, in English (07-02-21)

Sidhu and colleagues extended research findings previously derived with nonwords to English words. The group reports that “Sound symbolism refers to associations between language sounds (i.e., phonemes) and perceptual and/or semantic features. One example is the maluma/takete effect: an association between certain phonemes (e.g., /m/, /u/) and roundness [as, for example, with maluma], and others (e.g., /k/, /ɪ/) and spikiness [as, for instance, with takete]. While this association has been demonstrated in laboratory tasks with nonword stimuli. . . .

Office Design, Worker Experiences (07-01-21)

James and colleagues, via a literature review, evaluated employee experiences in cellular offices and more open workspaces.  Their research compared data collected for cellular workspaces with information from all other types of work areas (all those without full height walls and a door assigned to one individual).  The researchers determined that “working in open-plan workplace designs is associated with more negative outcomes on many measures relating to health, satisfaction, productivity, and social relationships.

Views and Experiences (06-30-21)

Elzeyadi probed  preferences for workplace views and the wellbeing-related consequences of particular views.  He reports that “Results suggest that the current classification of views into two types: views of nature versus urban views is misleading and does not realistically represent the typical content of the views.  Instead, a scaled dimension and metric to evaluate views based on their composition and content of their attributes is more accurate. . .

Taste – Color Links (06-29-21)

Spence and Levitancontinue research into links between colors seen and taste experiences. They share that “For centuries, if not millennia, people have associated the basic tastes (e.g., sweet, bitter, salty, and sour) with specific colours. . . . [there] appear to be a surprisingly high degree of consistency regarding this crossmodal mapping. . .  . the growing awareness of the robustness of colour–taste correspondences would currently seem to be of particular relevance to those working in the fields of design and multisensory experiential marketing. . . . Spence et al.

Natural Symmetry (06-28-21)

Damiano and colleagues studied the psychological implications of symmetry in natural scenes. They report that “Symmetry generally makes stimuli less complex, and symmetric arrangements are also generally preferred to asymmetric ones. . . . We collected ratings of complexity, aesthetic pleasure, and interest for 720 scene images and calculated average ratings for each image. . . . as symmetry increases and makes a scene less complex, it also renders the scene less pleasing and interesting. . . .

Art and Its Color (06-25-21)

Altmann, Brachmann, and Redies manipulated the colors originally used by artists in abstract paintings and identified important implications of particular color choices. The trio reports that “Despite the great diversity in the use of color between epochs, there are some surprisingly stable and unifying features in chromatic properties across visual artworks. For example, artists’ palettes seem to be biased toward the yellow-red [including orange-] range of the spectrum.

Urban Greenspace, Happiness Links (06-24-21)

Researchers have tied citizen happiness to urban greenspace.  Kwon and colleagues report that “By measuring the urban green space score (UGS) from high-resolution satellite imagery of 90 global cities covering 179,168 km2 and 230 million people in 60 developed countries, we find that the amount of urban green space and GDP are correlated with a nation’s happiness level. More specifically, urban green space and GDP are each individually associated with happiness. Yet, only urban green space is related to happiness in the 30 wealthiest countries. . . .

Nostalgia Effects (06-23-21)

Xia and colleagues link feeling nostalgic and the purchase of new products.  The research team reports that their “research investigates the motivational effect of nostalgia induced by aversive and threatening situations (e.g., COVID-19) on new product purchase intentions. . . .  perceived COVID severity induces feelings of nostalgia and that heightened nostalgia boosts purchase intentions for new products. We replicate the effect with nostalgia triggered by a different threat (i.e., social unrest). . . .

Early vs. Late Experiences (06-22-21)

New research indicates how to manage early and late stages of experiences via design or other means when both can not be supported equally. A team lead by Keren has determined that “early experiences may have a larger effect on our mood than more recent events. . . . People routinely report on their moods during everyday activities and when they interact with clinicians providing mental health care. It is commonly believed that the most recent experiences during a task or interaction with someone else may have the strongest effect on how an individual feels at a given time.


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