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.. . .
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.
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. . . .
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Peeters, Smolders, and de Kort report on variations in lighting experiences among people working in the same office. The researchers report that when they “tracked office workers’ personal exposure during two three-week field intervention studies, one in winter, one in late spring. . . . the person-based data revealed large differences between - and within - participants in terms of light received at the eye. . . . When designing the lighting plan for a space, the location and placement of light fixtures is a factor that should be considered.
Researchers investigated responses to social distancing tools. Taylor lead a team that determined that in restaurant dining rooms “consumer perceptions of the dining room that utilized partitions [to enforce social distancing rules] were significantly greater than those that used mannequins. . . .
People on the autism spectrum seem to have tactile experiences that are different from those of individuals not on the autism spectrum. This has implications for the design of spaces that are likely to be used by these individuals. A study published in Neurology reports that “‘More than 70% of people with autism have differences in their sensory perception,’ said study author Sung-Tsang Hsieh. . . . 53% of the people with autism had reduced nerve fiber density. . . .