design research

Using Virtual Reality in Retail Contexts (10-28-20)

Cowan and colleagues investigated the use of virtual reality while selling something.  Their work determined that “360-VR may help to communicate the brand story online, but the impact of this storytelling can be lost in store aisles due to cognitive competition. . . . 360-VR used online (versus in-store) favors consumers with lower product knowledge. Since consumers with lower product knowledge typically shop in supermarkets or discount stores rather than at specialty boutiques . . .

At Home During the Pandemic (10-27-20)

Meagher and Cheadle researched links between mental health and home design during the COID-19 outbreak. They determined that people who were attached to their homes are less stressed and anxious.  As the researchers report, “Many people are spending more time in their homes due to work from home arrangements, stay at home orders, and closures of businesses and public gathering spaces. . . . we explored how one’s attachment to their home may help to buffer their mental health during this stressful time.  Data were collected from a three-wave . . . sampling. . . .

Music Universals (10-26-20)

Researchers have identified cross-cultural consistencies in responses to particular sounds and published their findings in Nature Human Behaviour.  A team affiliated with Harvard’s Music Lab reports that “American infants relaxed when played lullabies that were unfamiliar and in a foreign language. . . . Infants responded to universal elements of songs, despite the unfamiliarity of their melodies and words, and relaxed. . . . In the experiment, each infant watched an animated video of two characters singing either a lullaby or a non-lullaby. . . .

Classroom Conditions and Student Achievement (10-23-20)

Brink and colleagues evaluated links between college/university classroom conditions and student performance.  They report that their literature review determined that  “Warm white light provides a relaxing environment and supports communication, and should gradually change to blue-enriched white light after its prolonged use during the morning to prevent drowsiness. . . . these different correlated color temperatures imitates the natural change of daylight during the day and therefore supports teachers' and students' circadian rhythm.. . .

Sound and Cognitive Issues (10-22-20)

Weuve and teammates studied links between noise levels experienced at home and cognitive issues. The researchers report that “Participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project (≥65 years) underwent triennial [every 3 years] cognitive assessments. For the 5 years preceding each assessment, we estimated 5227 participants’ residential level of noise from the community using a spatial prediction model, and estimated associations of noise level with prevalent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD [Alzheimer’s disease], cognitive performance, and rate of cognitive decline.

Encouraging Distancing (10-21-20)

Researchers investigated how to encourage people to maintain desired interpersonal distances via signage. Guchait, Do, and Wang found (study published in The Service Industries Journal) that “Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance, many do not. . . . negativity and anthropomorphism, or attributing human characteristics to nonhuman objects . . . improve the persuasiveness of those appeals. . . .

Flexibility Paradox (10-20-20)

The implications of working from home are multidimensional.  Sjolie, Francisco, Mahon, Kaukko, and Kemmis (study published in Journal of Praxis in Higher Education) report that they “collected data from students and academic staff. . . . working from a home office, or as a distributed team, provides significantly increased flexibility for the work situation, it could provide less flexibility in carrying out the work, both in terms of meeting colleagues, collaborating and teaching.

Moving and World View (10-19-20)

Wang and colleagues investigated how frequency of home moves influences charitable donations.  Their findings have broader repercussions, particularly for situations when feelings about others are pertinent.  The team reports that “Extant research shows that consumers are more likely to donate to close than distant others, making donations to geographically distant beneficiaries a challenge. This paper introduces residential mobility as a novel variable that can lead to increased donations towards distant beneficiaries. This paper proposes that residential mobility (vs.

Nature IN Classrooms (10-16-20)

Van den Bogerd and colleagues studied the effects of having plants in a university and secondary school classrooms.  They report that after students attended one lecture in a classroom with plants in it that “Perceived environmental quality of classrooms with (rather than without) indoor nature was consistently rated more favourably. Secondary education students also reported greater attention, lecture evaluation, and teacher evaluation after one lecture in classrooms with indoor nature compared to the classroom without.”

Window Views: Implications (10-15-20)

Ko and colleagues evaluated how windows influence space user experiences.  They report that they “assessed the influence of having a window with a view [of nature] on thermal and emotional responses as well as on cognitive performance. . . . The chamber kept the air and window surface temperature at 28 °C, a slightly warm condition. . . . In the space with versus without windows, the thermal sensation was significantly cooler ( . . .  equivalent to 0.74 °C lower), and 12% more participants were thermally comfortable.


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