design psychology

An Audience While Choosing (04-02-20)

Zwebner and Schrift report on the repercussions of being in view of others while making decisions.  They share that “The present work . . . .[investigates] how consumers react to being observed during the preference-construction stage (i.e., prior to reaching their decision). . . . eight studies . . . find that being observed prior to reaching the decision threatens consumers’ sense of autonomy in making the decision, resulting in an aversion to being observed. Further, we find that such threats lead consumers to terminate their decision by avoiding purchase or by choosing default options.

Retail Color (04-01-20)

Cho and Suh studied the implications of use of combinations of particular colors in retail environments.  They report that “An environment simulating a hypothetical retail store was developed using a 3D rendering program. . . . When viewing the images, participants were asked to identify which images looked most luxurious. . . . dark colors used in large amounts of surface were perceived as more luxurious than light colors. . .

Pavements and Flooding (03-31-20)

Particular pavement types can increase the probability of flooding.  Blum lead a team that found that “for every percentage point increase of roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, annual floods increase on average by 3.3%. This means that if an undeveloped river basin increases the amount of impervious surfaces from zero to 10%, scientists would expect, on average, a 33% increase in annual flooding. . . .

Viruses Indoors (03-30-20)

How interior environments influence virus spread was investigated by Iwasaki, Moriyama, and Hugentobler.  The researchers report that “seasonal moderation of relative humidity — the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity — could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission. (Viruses could still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises.) . . . there is a sweet spot in relative humidity for indoor environments, the review found.

Benefits of Nature-Based Experiences (03-27-20)

Weir reports on the findings of numerous studies that have established the psychological value of nature-based experiences.  The material related to experiencing nature while indoors have the widest applicability. Weir states, for example, that “Berman and colleagues found that study participants who listened to nature sounds like crickets chirping and waves crashing performed better on demanding cognitive tests than those who listed to other sounds like traffic and the clatter of a busy café. . . . .

Green Consumption and Prestige (03-26-20)

Kohlova and Urban identified a link between green consumption and perceived social status. As they report, they “examine[d] whether a green profile of consumption affects the social status of consumers. . . . results corroborate the expected positive effect of a green profile of consumption on the social status of consumers [more green consumption, higher perceived social status]. . . . our results imply that the explicit monetary cost of green consumption is not a decisive factor conditioning the effect of green consumption on social status. . .

Working Underground (03-25-20)

Dunleavy and colleagues have determined that humans find working underground a more positive experience than might have been anticipated.  Surveying people living in Singapore who worked either above or below ground the team investigated “the prevalence of psychological distress . . . over time in aboveground and underground workspaces. . . .  workers in similar aboveground and underground workspaces were followed-up in three assessments over 12 months. . . .  Perceived IEQ (air quality, temperature, noise, light) in the workplace were collected. . .

Dynamic Retail Lighting (03-24-20)

Laski and colleagues wanted to know more about how dynamic retail lighting could influence shopping behavior.  Via eye movement tracking, they studied the implications over time of light intensity staying constant while the color rendering properties of that light changed: “The objective is for these changes to be subtle enough to not be consciously noticed by retail shoppers. . . . use of strategically modulated lighting conditions can, on average, increase shoppers' spatial range of browsing. . . .male subjects exhibited . . .

Defining Realities (03-23-20)

Flavian and colleagues define the terms used for the “realities” that are now technically possible. As they report ”The Real Environment is an actual setting where users interact solely with elements of the real world, whereas Virtual Environment is a completely computer-generated environment where users can interact solely with virtual objects in real-time. Between these extremes, we found technology-mediated realities where physical and virtual worlds are integrated at different levels.

Rightsizing Homes (03-20-20)

What is a sustainable size for a home?  Maurie Cohen, who reports on his work in Housing, Theory & Society,reviewed “more than 75 years of housing history and provides estimates for the optimal spatial dimensions that would align with an ‘environmentally tenable and globally equitable amount of per-person living area’ today. . . .

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