Research by Wali and teammates confirms that walkability boosts health. They share that they examined “high resolution data for 476 participants in the Rails and Health study on health care costs, mode specific MVPA[ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity], parcel-level built environment, and neighborhood perception surveys. . . . A 1% increase in bike, walk, and transit-related MVPA was associated with lower health care costs by −0.28%, −0.09%, and −0.27% respectively. A one-unit increase in neighborhood walkability index correlates with a 6.48% reduction in health care costs. . . .
Research by Londono and de Maya indicates how attentive we are to human-like design elements. The duo share that “The current research focuses on how anthropomorphizing [providing them with human characteristics] retail cues such as dump bins influences consumer behavior. . . . Using eye-tracking technology in an ecological shopping environment, we tracked shoppers' gazes through the store and analyzed their visual attention. Results show that attaching anthropomorphic forms to dump bins positively affects attitudes toward the displayed products.
Coutrot and colleagues set out to learn more about how where we grew up influences our sense of direction; what they’ve learned may help explain previously baffling programming research findings, for example. The Coutrot-lead team report that “how the environment in which one grew up affects later cognitive abilities remains poorly understood. Here we used a cognitive task embedded in a video game to measure non-verbal spatial navigation ability in 397,162 people from 38 countries across the world.
Santangelo and associates studied the effects of hearing music on decisions made. They determined that “music is frequently played while we are engaged in other activities that rely on decision-making (e.g., driving). . . . We analyzed response times and accuracy from more than 100-thousand decisions and mapped the effects of music onto decision-process components with a mechanistic model of decision-making. We found evidence . . . . [that] decisions—across domains—were faster but less accurate with music. . . .
Llinares and colleagues studied how classroom wall color hue influences student performance. They determined via a virtual reality project that “Cold hues improve attention and memory performance. . . . The objective of the present study is to analyse the impact that warm and cold hue coloured classroom walls have on the cognitive attention and memory functions of university students. . . .
Nanu and colleagues investigated how hotel lobby design influences opinions formed of hotels. They report that their “study investigates preferences of millennial and non-millennial travelers towards hotel lobby design concerning style (contemporary vs. traditional) and biophilic elements [plants] (present vs. absent). This quantitative study is designed as an online, virtual, scenario-based experiment. . . . The findings of the study reveal that the lobby interior design style has a significant impact on booking intention across different generations.
Another study indicates that there are intriguing similarities between our online experiences and those we have in real life. A press release related to the new research indicates that “The more the video quality of an online meeting degrades, the louder we start talking, a new study by researchers at Radboud University and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics finds. People also tend to change up their gestures to compensate. Their findings were published today in the Royal Society Open Science journal. . . .
Arshamian and teammates determined that worldwide people tend to find the same odors pleasant to smell. As they report, they “asked 225 individuals from 9 diverse nonwestern cultures—hunter-gatherer to urban dwelling—to rank . . . odorants from most to least pleasant. Contrary to expectations, culture explained only 6% of the variance in pleasantness rankings, whereas individual variability or personal taste explained 54%. Importantly, there was substantial global consistency, with molecular identity explaining 41% of the variance in odor pleasantness rankings. . . .
New research verifies that sensory experiences vary by culture. For a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences n international research team led by Elizabeth Margulis and Devin McAuley “asked hundreds of people what stories they imagined when listening to instrumental music. . . . listeners in Michigan and Arkansas imagined very similar scenes, while listeners in China envisioned completely different stories. . . .
Rossel and teammates’ research confirms that many factors influence what we see. The team shares that “Our study investigated the influence of expectations based on prior experience and contextual information on the perceived sharpness of objects and scenes. . . . We manipulated the availability of relevant information to form expectations about the image’s content: one of the two images contained predictable information while the other one unpredictable. At an equal level of blur, predictable objects and scenes were perceived as sharper than unpredictable ones. . . .