In a study with applications beyond the specific research question investigated, Garay, Perez, and Pulga probed responses to color palettes used in paintings. They report that “Most existing literature has ignored the potential effects that color intensity may have on art prices. . . . We examine 1627 paintings executed by the “Big Five” Latin American artists (Rivera, Tamayo, Lam, Matta, and Botero), and sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s between 2003 and 2017, to analyze this impact.
Gore and colleagues studied the effects of seeing art on anxiety among cancer patients. They report that they compared anxiety levels for “three groups (participants who observed an electronic selection of artwork with and without guided discussion, and a control group that did not engage in either dedicated art observation activity). . . . [average] anxiety scores were significantly lower among those who participated in guided art observation, compared to [the control group]. . . .
Ouyang and colleagues learned how significantly the way product options are presented influences impressions formed; their findings are likely applicable more generally than the specific context investigated. The researchers report that “Many retailers use seemingly innocuous dividing lines to separate product alternatives on their websites or product catalogs. . . . a dividing line can influence consumers' perceived quantity of the product alternatives displayed. . . .
Cosgun and associates set out to learn how wall coverings influence perceptions of cafés. They report on a virtual reality based research project: “This study aims to determine the effects of wall covering materials (wood, concrete and metal) used indoors on participants’ perceptual evaluations. . . . Cafes using light-coloured wall covering materials were perceived more favourably than cafes using dark-coloured wall covering materials, and cafes with light-coloured wooden wall coverings were considered as a warmer material (sic) than cafes using concrete and metal.”
Sirolo and team investigated how moving from private offices to an activity-based workplace influences work environment satisfaction one year after the move. They learned via data collected from people who had relocated from private offices to activity-based offices that “personnel’s criticisms concerned the reasons for the change, their opportunities to influence the office design and the extent to which their views were taken into account. Environmental satisfaction decreased after moving to the ABO.
Yildirim and colleagues set out to learn more about how design influences user assessments of workplaces. They investigated, via a survey distributed in Ankara, Turkey, “the effects of location of closed offices on the front facade, rear facade and side facade plans and the indoor layout (left and right users’ cabinets) on perceptual evaluations of users of physical environmental factors. . . . it was determined that office users on the front and side facades generally perceived more positively the offices’ environmental factors than office users on the back facade.
Suhaimi and teammates studied aesthetic preferences. They learned that “There is a long history of humans attempting to understand what drives aesthetic preference. One line of inquiry examines the effects of typicality and novelty on aesthetic responses to designed products. There is currently a wide support towards the ‘Most Advanced Yet Acceptable’ (MAYA) principle, and studies underpinning this have focused on everyday objects. Despite the differences in the function of everyday objects, what they all have in common is their visibility.
Van Kerckhove and teammates probed how form influences impressions made. Their work “proposes surface mimicry—that is, designing a product to visually resemble another product—as an effective intervention to communicate property information to consumers. Specifically, it advances the notion that exposure to surface mimicry primes property mapping, a thinking style that leads consumers to transfer property information from one product onto another.
Zeloni and Pavani report on sounds that humans link to sadness. They share that “In Western music and in music of other cultures, minor chords, modes and intervals evoke sadness. . . . we asked expert musicians to transcribe into music scores spontaneous vocalizations of pre-verbal infants to test the hypothesis that melodic intervals that evoke sadness in music (i.e., minor 2nd) are more represented in cry compared to neutral utterances. Results showed that the unison, major 2nd, minor 2nd, major 3rd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th and perfect 5th are all represented in infant vocalizations.
The Mason team’s findings support calls to keep light levels low in spaces where people are sleeping. The group reports that their “laboratory study shows that, in healthy adults, one night of moderate (100 lx) light exposure during sleep increases nighttime heart rate, decreases heart rate variability (higher sympathovagal balance), and increases next-morning insulin resistance when compared to sleep in a dimly lit (<3 lx) environment.