design psychology

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? . .

Standing and Thinking (09-17-19)

As more and more people use standing desks, understanding how standing influences thinking becomes more important.  Smith, Davoli, Knapp, and Abrams report that “Postural changes and the maintenance of postural stability have been shown to affect many aspects of cognition. . . .  we examined the extent to which selective visual attention may differ between standing and seated postures in three tasks: the Stroop color-word task, a task-switching paradigm, and visual search.

Time and Placement (09-16-19)

Romero, Craig, and Kumar studied physical experiences and perceptions of time.  They report that “Cognitive linguistic studies have found that people perceive time to be intertwined with space. Western consumers, in particular, visualize time on a horizontal spatial axis, with past events on the left and future events on the right. . . . Integrating cognitive linguistics, time psychology, and intertemporal choice . . . five studies [demonstrate] that when choices are displayed horizontally (vs. vertically), consumers more steeply discount future outcomes. . . . horizontal (vs.

Workplace Window Technologies: Implications (09-13-19)

Jamrozik and associates investigated how in-office window technology influences cognitive performance and other important aspects of worker experience.  The team reports on the implications of using window-shading tools that allow daylight to pass through windows and people inside to see outdoors but curtail glare.  Employees who participated in this study worked in all of the test conditions over a 14-week period doing their regular work tasks and for their entire workday. The performance and satisfaction of study participants experiencing the window technologies were compared to their per


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