Graziose and colleagues investigated how sound levels influence food consumed and their findings have implications, generally, for situations when designers want to encourage certain behaviors, particularly by children. The researchers report that “A digital photography method was used to assess FV [fruit and vegetable] consumption among [second and third grade] students across 40 days from 20 schools and environmental exposures, including the noise or sound pressure level of the cafeteria, were assessed during lunch. . . . .
Hsieh and colleagues have found that the color of websites influences shopper opinions. The researchers determined that “online consumers' reactions to online merchandise prices vary according to website background colors. Participants who view blue or low-brightness backgrounds have high patronage intentions regardless of whether prices are high or low. Participants who view red or high-brightness backgrounds are sensitive to merchandise prices and react significantly negatively to high prices. . . .
Research indicates that as lighting levels decrease, people drive more quickly. De Bellis and colleagues “examine[d] real-world speeding behavior and its interaction with illuminance, an environmental property defined as the luminous flux incident on a surface. Drawing on an analysis of 1.2 million vehicle movements, we show that reduced illuminance levels are associated with increased speeding. This relationship persists when we control for factors known to influence speeding (e.g., fluctuations in traffic volume) and consider proxies of illuminance (e.g., sight distance).”
Beck and teammates investigated how close cars are to bicycles being passed and their findings have implications for the design of not only roadways but also generally, for hallways within buildings, for example. The Beck-lead team found that when “Participants had a custom device installed on their bicycle and rode as per their usual cycling for one to two weeks. . .
Hunter and colleagues investigated the amount of time that people need to spend “anywhere outside that, in the opinion of the participant, included a sufficiency of natural elements to feel like a nature interaction” to reduce their stress levels. The research team reports that over an 8-week period “study participants are free to choose the time of day, duration, and the place of a NE [nature exposure]. . . .
Research conducted by Gomez and Spielmann confirms that sensory evaluations are regularly more subjective than objective. The researchers found that “Associating food products with elite groups positively influences sensory taste perceptions.. . . .Taste enhancement occurs because of the transfer of unobservable elite properties to the food.. . . In four studies involving actual taste tests and online experiments, we show that associating a food product with an elite group increases taste perceptions within various food categories.
A research team headed by Bigman identified links between robot appearance and how responsible they are felt to be for their actions. These scientists report that “Even as roboticists create robots with more ‘objective’ autonomy, we note that ‘subjective’ autonomy may be more important. . . . People perceive the mind of machines based on their abilities and behaviors, but also on their appearance. The more human-like a machine looks, the more people perceive it as having a mind, a phenomenon called anthropomorphism. . . .
A study to be published in Behavior Research Methodssheds light on relationships between sensory experiences. Cuskley, Dingemanse, Kirby and van Leeuwenanalyzed data collected from over 1,000 people and found that when study participants “chose colours for 16 spoken vowels. A large majority felt that ‘aa’ was more red than green, and ‘ee’ more light than dark. . . . According to Mark Dingemanse, one of the researchers, ‘There seems to be a logic to how we link sound and colour, and the structure of language has an important role in this process.’ . . .
Laboratory Lifestyles: The Construction of Scientific Fictions is packed with ideas that can be used to develop scientific laboratories as well as other professional workplaces. Laboratory Lifestyles’website states that “The past decade has seen an extraordinary laboratory-building boom. This new crop of laboratories features spectacular architecture and resort-like amenities. The buildings sprawl luxuriously on verdant campuses or sit sleekly in expensive urban neighborhoods.
Obayashi and teammates studied how airflow and concentration are related. They evaluated the mental activity of people in two areas, one with no airflow and another with an airflow system combining two different ventilation experiences, one of which was labeled “stimualtive” and the other “mild.” During the study, “cognitive tasks are given to participants. The concentration time ratio (CTR), which is a quantitative and objective evaluation index of the degree of concentration, is measured. . . .