design research

Valuing Outside Spaces (05-17-22)

Using the Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool (ORVal), developed at the University of Exeter, researchers have determined the values of parks, beaches, and other green spaces in the United Kingdom.  The investigators found that “small parks deliver ‘pound for pound’ the highest recreation value, and that good access to quality green spaces, the weather and dog ownership are key drivers of increased outdoor recreation. . . . Large country parks and beaches are generally the most valuable green spaces.

Green Space and Cognitive Function (05-12-22)

Jimenez and colleagues found a link between exposure to green space and higher levels of cognitive functioning. They report that, using data from 13,594 women (mean age 61), they determined that “increasing green space was associated with higher scores of overall cognition and psychomotor speed/attention. In contrast, there was no association between green space and learning/working memory. . . . Green space can decelerate cognitive decline by supporting physical activity, psychological restoration, or reducing exposure to air pollution. . . .

Mindful Nature (05-11-22)

Macaulay lead a team that investigated mindfulness in nature settings.  The researchers report that “Before and after a 20-minute outdoor experience, participants . . . completed surveys. . . . Participants were randomly allocated to one of four engagement intervention groups: mindful engagement, directed engagement, mind wandering, and an unguided control group. . . . the unguided control group had the greatest level of attention restoration. . . . .

Multisensory Integration (05-10-22)

What factors influence how we integrate information from multiple sources?  Scheller and Sui found that “When interacting with the environment, humans exhibit robust biases toward information that pertains to themselves: Self-relevant information is processed faster and yields more accurate responses than information linked to others. . . . the present findings suggest that social relevance can influence multisensory processing at both perceptual and postperceptual stages.”

Cemetery Futures (05-09-22)

Grabalov and Nordh investigated future roles for current cemeteries.  They share that “the role of cemeteries in cities under densification pressure, such as Oslo and Copenhagen, is shifting. . . . cemeteries have the potential to become more public in the future. Based on the empirical material, we expect the cemeteries in these cities to maintain their spiritual dimension while becoming . . . more multifunctional and more multicultural. Over time, their role could become more diversified. . . .

Making Judgments (05-06-22)

Beeler and colleagues set out to learn more about how opinions are formed.  They focused on judgments of digital assistant technologies, but what they learned can no doubt be extrapolated to other contexts.  The investigators determined that “ability assessments are dependent upon both the use context (i.e., automation versus augmentation; disclosure of automation) and individual characteristics (i.e., consumer mood state and consumer preference for human interaction). . . .

Image Size and Evaluations (05-05-22)

Huang, Wang, and Chan investigated how image sizes on packages influence assessments of contents; their findings may be applicable more broadly.  The investigators learned that “larger (vs. smaller) food images on food packages can positively influence consumers' initial product attitudes toward the food (i.e., purchase likelihood). . . . Compared with smaller food images, larger ones improve purchase likelihood. . . . this effect is only observed for vice (vs. virtue) foods.”

Impressions of Travel Destinations (05-04-22)

Kah and teammates gathered information that can be immediately applied by people in the travel industry, among others.  They report that “Every destination needs to create a unique identity to sustain competition. . . . two single senses including vision and touch are most positively associated with all types of travel destination identity. . . . when combining the senses, the vision and smell are the most effective to create a travel destination identity rather [sic] combinations of vision and touch, which are effective senses when acting individually.”

Art Metaphors (05-03-22)

Crawford and Juricevic studied the use of metaphors in art. They share that they “analyze[d] the literal and metaphorical use of the pictorial device of exaggerated size in 59 well-known works of art sampled from across history. Exaggerated size was chosen for analysis because it is often used literally (e.g., to depict an actual giant) or metaphorically (e.g., to depict an existential concern). . . . when metaphoric and literal information conflicts [in art], viewers favor metaphoric interpretations. . . .

Sleep and Impressions Formed (05-02-22)

Researchers have determined how sleep deprivation influences impressions formed of faces; it is likely that their findings can be extended to other contexts.  Investigators lead by van Egmond report (in a study published in Nature and Science of Sleep) that “young adults when sleep-deprived evaluate angry faces as less trustworthy and healthy-looking. Furthermore, neutral and fearful faces appear less attractive following sleep loss. . . . The participants spent one night with no sleep at all and one night with an eight-hour sleep opportunity.


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