environment behavior

Messy Offices: Consequences (11-30-18)

Findings of a study conducted by Horgan, Herzog, and Dryszlewski indicate that designers should not only keep their own workplaces looking neat, but that they should also support any potential efforts by the users of the offices they develop to maintain a neat looking desk via drawers/cabinets/etc., where desktop items can be “stashed.”  Horgan and team investigated  “How perceivers' impressions of a researcher's personality might vary as a function of the messiness of the researcher's office. . . .

Touch and Memories (11-29-18)

Hutmacher and Kuhbander studied the psychological implications of having touched something. They found that “The question of how many of our perceptual experiences are stored in long-term memory has received considerable attention. The present study examined long-term memory for haptic [touch] experiences. . . . These results indicate that detailed, durable, long-term memory representations are stored as a natural product of haptic perception.”  So touching builds memories, even when objects felt aren’t seen.

Social “Maps” (11-28-18)

Vaughan has written a book, a PDF of which is free at the website noted below, that focuses on the development and use of maps tied to multiple social science-related factors. As materials describing the book on its website state, “Mapping Society traces the evolution of social cartography over the past two centuries. . . .

Behavior and Seeing (11-27-18)

A recent press release from VIB (a life sciences research institute in Flanders, Belgium) describes the findings of a study published in Nature Communications. That research indicates that what we “see” may vary based on the situation in which we encounter it.  Researchers lead by Vincent Bonin learned that “What we see is not only determined by what is really there, but also depends on whether we are paying attention, whether we are moving, excited or interested. . . . the processing of visual information in the brain is indeed modulated by our own behavior. . . .

Feeling Crowding (11-26-18)

Wang and Ackerman studied factors that influence how crowded people feel in a space.  They determined that  “People sometimes perceive social environments as unpleasantly crowded. Previous work has linked these experiences to incidental factors such as being hungry or hot and to the relevance of the social environment for an individual’s current goals. Here. . . . Eight studies test whether infectious disease threats, which are associated with crowded conditions, increase such reactions.

More on What’s Mentally Refreshing (11-21-18)

Kuper investigated the cognitive refreshment/restoration related implications of viewing different sorts of nature scenes.  He found that “Respondents rated flowering and autumn-colored views significantly higher in RP [restorative potential] and preference than foliated [green leaves only on trees]. . . . Flowering plants and red or yellow autumn-colored foliage may increase users’ preference and RP.”

Sound and Personality (11-20-18)

Yadon and Daugherty explored how personality influences responses to sound.  They report that “Sensory gating allows an individual to filter out irrelevant sensory information from the environment, potentially freeing attentional resources for more complex tasks. . . . [study] Participants with more robust . . . sensory gating reported a significantly greater degree of conscientiousness; conscientiousness (but not the other Big Five factors) predicted sensory gating ability.”

Consumers Still Value Physical Stores (11-19-18)

Helm and colleagues’ research indicates that consumers still value the experience of visiting physical stores.  The team found via “a content analysis of reader comments [US consumers] in response to articles featuring reports on large-scale store closures, and structured online consumer interviews. . . . many consumers lamenting the disappearance of physical retailers. Most expect negative consequences for themselves and society.

Experiences in Open Offices (11-16-18)

YouGov, a respected research organization, investigated in-office experiences.  The investigators determined that “In just the past six months, open office workers in major cities across the U.S. [New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco and Houston] have: Gone to a closet or hallway to take a phone call: Almost 1 in 3 (31%);  Gone to the bathroom to take a phone call: 1 in 8 (12%); . . .

Political Implications of Urban Planning (11-15-18)

Urban/regional planning seems to have political ramifications. Researchers from the University of Waterloo determined that “Urban planning decisions from decades past are likely a contributing factor to the rise of right-wing populism. . . . development patterns that led to the reliance on the automobiles may also be fueling political attitudes that favour comfort and convenience and resist sustainable development. . . . In reviewing the data, the researchers found that the increasing use of the automobile heavily influenced land-use decisions and life-style choices.


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