environment behavior

Age and Workplace Design (02-01-19)

Appel-Meulenbroek and colleagues collected information from workers born into different generations to learn more about perceived workplace design-related needs and preferences.  The variations they identified were present at the time that their research was conducted and may or may not persist as members of various generations age.  The investigators defined Baby Boomers as born from 1946 – 1964, members of Generation X as being born from 1965 – 1979, and Millennials as born 1980 – 1998.  Data were obtained from hundreds of Dutch office employees who are members of one of the three generat

Implications of Taking Photos (01-31-19)

Nardini and colleagues’ findings are consistent with those of previous studies of how taking photographs influences experience: “people almost invariably take pictures during highly enjoyable experiences such as vacations or important family events. Although past research has suggested that taking pictures may enhance the enjoyment of moderately enjoyable experiences, the effect of picture taking on the real‐time enjoyment of highly enjoyable experiences is not clear. . . .

Designing in Middle Aisles (01-30-19)

How do middle aisles influence shopping behavior?  Page and colleagues set out to  “establish the effectiveness of a supermarket layout with a middle aisle splitting all other aisles, compared to a ‘traditional’ layout (without a middle aisle). . . . The research aims to . . . explore the shopper traffic entering and existing the middle aisle, and interaction with endcap promotions . . . and . . . compare the two stores based on basket size (in items and dollars) and trip duration. . . .

More on Viewing Nature Scenes (01-29-19)

Grassini and colleagues studied the psychological implications of viewing nature and urban scenes and their findings are consistent with previous research.  The investigators report that “During EEG [electroencephalography] recording, the participants . . . were presented with a series of photos depicting urban or natural scenery. . . . Our data suggest that the visual perception of natural environments calls for less attentional and cognitive processing, compared with urban ones. . .

Buttons! (01-28-19)

Plotnick reports on the design of push [e.g., control-type] buttons.  As material on her publisher’s website states, “Push a button and turn on the television; tap a button and get a ride; click a button and ‘like’ something. The touch of a finger can set an appliance, a car, or a system in motion, even if the user doesn't understand the underlying mechanisms or algorithms. How did buttons become so ubiquitous? Why do people love them, loathe them, and fear them?

Temperature and Decision Making (01-25-19)

Hadi and Block investigated the effects of comfortable and uncomfortable temperatures on decision making. They determined that “the adoption of an affective [emotional] decision-making style makes individuals feel warmer . . . and more comfortable in response to uncomfortably cold temperature. . . . individuals spontaneously rely more or less on affect when feeling uncomfortably cold or warm, respectively . . . which ultimately influences consequential downstream variables (e.g., willingness to pay). . . .  This effect holds in response to both tactile [skin contact] . . .

Rocking: Benefits (01-24-19)

Perrault and team investigated the benefits of gentle rocking.  They “previously showed that a gentle rocking stimulation (0.25 Hz), during an afternoon nap, facilitates wake-sleep transition and boosts endogenous brain oscillations. . . . [in the current study the team] analyzed EEG brain responses . . . from . . .  participants while they had a full night of sleep on a rocking bed. . . . compared to a stationary night, continuous rocking shortened the latency to non-REM (NREM) sleep and strengthened sleep maintenance. . . .

Sounds and Choices (01-23-19)

Dong, Huang, Labroo link sounds heard and choices made.  The research team found that “Managers often use music as a marketing tool. . . . in service settings, slow music to boost relaxation, and classical music for sophistication. . . .  Employing field, laboratory, and online studies, the authors find that listening to higher-pitched music increases consumers’ likelihood to choose healthy options [vs. lower-pitched music] . . . order lower-calorie foods . . .  and engage in health-boosting activities. . . .  This effect arises because high pitch raises salience of morality thoughts . . .

More Reasons to Encourage Stair Use (01-22-19)

Design can make it more likely that people will move from floor-to-floor in a building using stairs instead of elevators/escalators—for example, by locating stairs in more prominent locations.  New research confirms how beneficial stair use, even short bursts of it, can be. Jenkins and team “investigated the effect of stair climbing exercise ‘snacks’ on peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak).

Office Temperature Adjustments (01-21-19)

Any time of year when there is heating or air conditioning in use, which is just about the entire year in most of the world, there are at-work debates about optimal workplace temperatures.  Gunay and team have investigated requests to change workplace temperatures.  In the course of their study “Custom temperature setpoint change requests from four [large] office buildings were analyzed.” The researchers learned that the “the majority of the setpoint change requests were either to increase the default 22 °C [about 72 degrees Fahrenheit] temperature setpoints during the cooling season or to

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