design psychology

Telework and Wellbeing (05-29-20)

Song and Gao investigated how wellbeing is influenced by telework; their findings will interest people developing and managing workplaces.  Specifically, Song and Gao probed “how subjective well-being varies among wage/salary workers between working at home and working in the workplace. . . . We find that compared to working in the workplace, bringing work home on weekdays is associated with less happiness, and telework on weekdays or weekends/holidays is associated with more stress. The effect of working at home on subjective well-being also varies by parental status and gender.

Music Response Variability (05-28-20)

Chew, Lambiase, and colleagues studied physiological and emotional variations from one person to another in responses to music heard.  Their work indicates that someone can “Play the same piece of music to two people, and their hearts can respond very differently. . . .  patients with mild heart failure requiring a pacemaker were invited to a live classical piano concert. . . . Professor Chew said: ‘Even though two people might have statistically significant changes across the same musical transition, their responses could go in opposite directions.

Thinking with Things (05-27-20)

Malafouris’ work highlights the psychological implications of the things that fill our world.  As he reports, “We think ‘with’ and ‘through’ things, not simply ‘about’ things. . . . to think and to feel, we need more than a brain. Brain regions work in concert, but they are never alone; rather, they are always parts of broader systems extending beyond skin and skull. . . . New artifacts create novel relations and understandings of the world. New materialities bring about new modes of acting and thinking. . . .

Green Space and Kid Self-Regulation (05-26-20)

Taylor and Butts-Wilmsmeyer studied kindergarten students’ ability to self-regulate their behavior after spending class time in green schoolyards.  The researchers found via data collected at several schools that “girls in classes engaging in curriculum in greenspaces daily [for a minimum of 30 or 60 minutes, depending on the season] scored higher on measures of self-regulation post-intervention, controlling for baseline scores, than did girls engaging at a low frequency [once weekly for 60 minutes or less].

Making Choices While Concerned (05-22-20)

Galoni, Carpenter, and Rao investigated the sorts of choices people make when they are concerned about potentially catching a contagious disease.  They determined  “that contagious disease cues [such as hearing someone cough] can also elicit fear. Across four experiments and two large empirical data analyses of the presence of contagious disease on actual consumption behavior, we find that cues of contagious disease increase both fear and disgust, and these emotions together form a unique behavioral tendency with respect to consumer behavior.

Report on ANFA 2018 (05-21-20)

Marks and Goldhagen circulated, via the Association for Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) mailing list, a report on ANFA’s last conference, held in 2018 in San Diego.  They share that Alex Coburn (UC San Francisco School of Medicine) reported that “scaling architecture incrementally with fractally-inspired patterns of leaves and ocean waves corresponds with improved memory and mood. . . .

Eating Chocolate Ice Cream (05-20-20)

Xu and teammates conducted a multisensory analysis of how context influences impressions of chocolate ice cream eaten.  They determined that “When ice cream was consumed in the café, it was associated with . . . a sweet taste/flavour. When consumed in the university study area, it was correlated with . . . cocoa and milky flavours. Consumption at the city bus stop was correlated with . . . roasted and bitter tastes/flavours. The laboratory environment was only correlated with the attributes . . . creamy flavour.

Places for Drinking Cocktails (05-19-20)

Pierguidi and colleagues investigated differences in the environments in which people may prefer to drink cocktails;  their findings are relevant to the design of any spaces where alcohol may be consumed.   The team determined that thematic clusters [of study participants] were identified. . . . Theme 1: RELAX: this cluster focuses on an experience of relaxation, comfort (with the characteristic lemmas: /not too noisy/, /nicely/, /suffuse light/, /intimate/) and on the social dimension (/chatting/).

Child Wellbeing/Health and Outdoor Space Design (05-18-20)

Sando and Sandseter evaluated how the design of outdoor spaces at early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions influences children’s (3-4 year old’s) wellbeing (feeling at ease and self-confident, for example) and health (via physical activity). They collected data at 8 ECEC institutions ranging from “small urban environments with mainly asphalt and rubber surface to large (13 000 square meters) natural environments.”    The researchers report that “The importance of promoting a wide range of play activities is demonstrated by the finding that many episodes happened within a symbo

Walkability and Personality (05-15-20)

Gotz and colleagues link area walkability and human personality.  The researchers share that they had “hypothesized that walkability would be positively linked to Agreeableness and Extraversion due to increased opportunities for social interactions and selective migration. . . . walkability was positively related to Extraversion . . . but not to Agreeableness. . . . walkable urban environments may be conducive to a more animated and lively social climate which is reflected in heightened extraversion among residents of such areas. . . . walkability robustly predicts individual Extraversion.


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