design psychology

Space Syntax in Cites (04-01-21)

Van Nes applied space syntax principles at the city level.  He found that “shop owners always search for an optimal location to reach as many customers as possible. If the accessibility to this optimal location is affected by changes in a city’s road and street structure, it will affect the location pattern of shops. . . .  how an inner ring road is connected to and the type of the street network it is imposed upon dictates the resulting location pattern of shops. Shops locate and relocate themselves along the most spatially-integrated streets. . .

Wood-Use Resource (03-31-21)

In cooperation with a research team at the Technical University of Munich, Stora Enso has released a white paper detailing health and wellbeing benefits of living and working in spaces with wood design elements. It is available free of charge at the web address noted below.  Research indicates, for example, that “wood has beneficial effects. . . .

Moving to Activity-Based Workplaces (03-30-21)

Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”).  The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . .

Office Lighting Control (03-29-21)

Mahmoudzadeh and teammates add to the literature linking worker lighting control and workplace experiences.  The group found that when participants took part in a 3-phased experiment with immersive virtual environments (IVEs).  . . . The results of the research revealed that an energy efficient interactive lighting system that gave the participants a perception of control satisfied the participants in terms of lighting the same as a conventional lighting system that gave them full control. . .

Sensory Experience Sequences (03-26-21)

Researchers have found that initial sensory experiences color responses to future ones.  Jain, Nayakankuppam, and Gaeth, in a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,report that “Once a price is mentioned, that number serves as the basis for — or ‘anchors’ — all future discussions and decisions. But new research shows. . . anchoring even occurs in perceptual domains, like sight, sound, and touch. . . .  [the researchers] conducted several studies involving different senses.

COVID-19 and Responses to Machines (03-25-21)

Researchers have found that having COVID-19 seems to influence people’s responses to machines; these findings, published in iScience, have practical implications for both  design and management, for instance. Gratch lead a team that determined that “people affected by COVID-19 [as determined by measurements of stress] are showing more goodwill — to humans and to human-like autonomous machines. ‘The new discovery here is that when people are distracted by something distressing, they treat machines socially like they would treat other people.

More on During-Pandemic Green Access (03-24-21)

Pouso and team evaluated how nature exposure influenced mental health during COVID pandemic lockdowns.  They report that “Using a survey distributed online, we tested the following hypotheses: 1) People will show greater symptoms of depression and anxiety under lockdown conditions that did not allow contact with outdoor nature spaces; 2) Where access to public outdoor nature spaces was strictly restricted, (2a) those with green/blue nature view or (2b) access to private outdoor spaces such as a garden or balcony will show fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and a more positive mood.

Designing to Thwart Burglaries (03-23-21)

Park and Lee’s research findings will be of interest to people concerned about crime prevention through environmental design.  The research duo collected data from people who are not burglars using virtual reality. Park and Lee report that their “study examines how the environmental features of residential property influence the choice of intrusion routes in a burglary, based on the assumption that burglars mainly judge whether there are proper intrusion routes rather than assessing the entire house. . . .

Urban Nature and Pandemic Experiences (03-22-21)

Olszewska-Guizzo and colleagues studied links between nature experiences and the psychological state of people who lived in Singapore during its 7 week COVID-19 lockdown (known as a stay-at-home order or SHO).  Data assessed were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately after the SHO ended.  The research team determined, by showing participants videos of urban public spaces (Busy Downtown, Residential Green, and Lush Garden) filmed before the pandemic that “Post SHO, brain activity and responsiveness to landscapes changed. . .

More on the Pluses of Hearing Nature (03-19-21)

Buxton and colleagues reviewed published studies on the implications of hearing nature sounds.  They determined that “natural sounds improve health, increase positive affect [mood], and lower stress and annoyance. . .  .  Our review showed that natural sounds alone can confer health benefits. . . . water sounds had the largest effect on health and positive affective outcomes, while bird sounds had the largest effect on alleviating stress and annoyance.”

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