There are clear advantages to exercising in green environments. Wooller and colleagues determined that when “Fifty participants were randomly assigned to one of five groups: REST [sitting quietly on a cycle ergometer in front of a gray screen], exercise, exercise with nature sounds, exercise withnature visual and exercise with nature sound and visual. . . . Results showed that green exercise improved mood and stress scores more than exercise alone or REST.
Zolch and colleagues studied how the presence of plants influences comfort in public squares, and their findings are applicable in many outdoor spaces. The team learned that “At daytime designs with a maximum shaded area provide best thermal conditions. . . . At night unhindered air flow and reduced heat storage in meadows performed best.” More details on the Zolch-lead study: “The present study assessed typical greening designs of rectangular public squares and their microclimatic influences during a hot summer day both during day and night-time conditions. . . .
Dennis and colleagues investigated links between gender and shopping style and their findings have implications for retail design when it is more likely that a particular gender will shop at a particular website/location/etc. The team determined that their “survey of shopping behavior across 11 countries indicate though that men and women are evolutionarily predisposed to different shopping styles. . . . Our results show that men’s and women’s shopping styles reflect their respective, evolutionarily determined, and societal roles as hunters and gatherers. . . .
Fay, Cai, and Real reviewed empirical peer-reviewed studies related to decentralized nursing stations (DNSs) published in the last 15 years. They determined that “(a) there is a positive trend toward patient experience in units with DNS, (b) nursing teamwork was perceived to decline in units with DNS . . . and (d) there is no consistent categorization of nurse station typology or standard definition for DNS.. . .Based on the evaluation framework, DNS are supportive of the patient experience yet have a negative impact on nursing teamwork.”
Research conducted with children may indicate a way to at least partially compensate for lack of nature views in areas where people are likely to feel stressed. Pearson and team collected data from pediatric hospital patients (2-18 years old) who were assigned to hospital rooms that either had no applique like overlays that partially covered the windows of their rooms or realistic overlays on their windows that were reminiscent of an undersea environment (“aquatic animals and sea plants”) or a wooded meadow (“greenery, trees, and grass”).
Ueda and teammates evaluated links between audio pitch and perceptions of size. They report that “information about the external world can be obtained from multisensory modalities and integrated. . . . we measured the correspondence between visual size and auditory pitch for each participant . . . participants were asked to resize virtual disks until they matched a corresponding sound; this was performed for five different frequencies. . . . the higher the pitch, the smaller the circle judged to match the sound.”
Anyone looking for a straightforward introduction to space syntax should read Haq’s recent article. As he states, “Space Syntax investigates layouts, seen in plan drawings; but this is done from mature theoretical arguments about function in those spaces. While theories of society were at the genesis of Space Syntax, it has branched into cognition, transportation, economics, and so on, and has been used to investigate buildings, cities, and regions. . . . This article concentrates on explaining the analytical techniques of Space Syntax. . .
Wu, Moore, and Fitzsimons studied decision-making. They investigated “how consumers make unilateral decisions on behalf of the self and multiple others, in situations where the chosen option will be shared and consumed jointly by the group—for instance, choosing wine for the table. Results across six studies using three different choice contexts (wine, books, and movies) demonstrate that such choices are shaped by the decision-maker’s self-construal (independent versus interdependent) and by the size of the group being chosen for (large versus small). Specifically, we find that interdepend
Researchers have learned more about how what is being viewed influences decisions made. A press release from The Ohio State University reports that “Scientists using eye-tracking technology have found that what we look at helps guide our decisions when faced with two visible choices. . . .our gaze amplifies our desire for choices we already like.‘We don’t necessarily choose something just because we look at it more. . . . If we look at something we feel neutral about, our attention will have little effect,’ said Ian Krajbich, co-author of the study and assistant professor . . .
Scientists continue to investigate how the bacteria in the microbiomes inside our bodies influence the ways that we think and behave. Armstrong reports that “It’s tempting to tell yourself that you, or rather your brain, is the only driver behind the wheel when it comes to controlling your mind and body. According to emerging research on bacteria and our brains, however, we may actually have some pretty powerful passengers riding shotgun: the trillions of organisms that make up each of our microbiomes. . . .