place science

Retail Flooring and Music (01-17-19)

Imschloss and Kuehnl’s findings, consistent with previous research, indicate how important consistency in sensory experiences can be.  They determined that “In retail environments, consumers commonly evaluate products while standing on some type of flooring and concurrently being exposed to music. . . . The results of an experiment in a real retail store reveal positive effects of multisensory congruent retail environments (e.g., soft music combined with soft flooring) on product evaluations. . . . .

Evaluations of Art (01-15-19)

Gruner and colleagues add to our understanding of location-related factors that influence the evaluations of artworks.  They determined that “artworks presented in a museum were liked more and rated more interesting than in the laboratory.”

Susanne Gruner, Eva Specker, and Helmut Leder.  “Effects of Context and Genuineness in the Experience of Art.”  Empirical Studies of the Arts,in press,

Planning for Micromobility Services (01-14-19)

Micromobility services, providing dockless bikes and electric scooters, for instance, abound in cities.  Transportation for America has prepared a “playbook” for managing these services in ways that optimize positive experiences, which is available free at the website noted below.  On the Shared Micromobility Playbook’s website Steve Davis describes it: “Produced in collaboration with 23 cities, Transportation for America released a new “Playbook” to help cities think about how to best manage shared micromobility services like dockless bikes, electric scooters, and other new technologies th

Nonverbal Messages (01-11-19)

Research recently completed by Rucker and Cannon indicates the importance of nonverbal communication. The Rucker/Cannon team’s findings are likely relevant in many contexts beyond the ones specifically tested.  According to a study-related article in KelloggInsight, “Over several decades, researchers have observed a Range Rover-sized pile of benefits from conspicuously consuming luxury goods.  High-status brands, these papers found, might help you get a date, obtain a job, secure a charitable donation, and receive more money in a negotiation. . .

Smart Buildings, Users, and Communication (01-10-19)

How smart buildings should communicate with their users was investigated by Khashe, Gratch, Gratch, and Becerik-Gerber.  They determined that “people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management. . . . social banter between machine and people gets better results.  The findings underscore how personal connections and social interactions key to human relations also foster cooperation between people and machines. . . . subjects were exposed to an office setting using virtual reality, followed by a real office setting for a smaller group of participants.

Choices and Context (01-09-19)

The types of foods present nearby influence eating options selected.  A study completed by Huettel and Sullivan and published in Psychological Sciencedetermined that “the nearby presence of an indulgent treat can cause more people to opt for a healthy food. . . . ‘When people choose foods, they don’t simply reach into their memory and pick the most-preferred food. Instead, how much we prefer something actually depends on what other options are available,’ Huettel said. ‘If you see one healthy food and one unhealthy food, most people will choose the indulgent food,” he said.

Gender and Experience (01-08-19)

Research recently published in Current Biologyindicates that men and women respond to places associated with chronic pain differently.  These findings may be applicable to other life experiences. Mogil and Martin report that  “Scientists increasingly believe that one of the driving forces in chronic pain—the number one health problem in both prevalence and burden—appears to be the memory of earlier pain. . . .  there may be variations, based on sex, in the way that pain is remembered in . . . humans.  The research team . . . found that men . . .

More on the Consequences of Awe (01-07-19)

Design can inspire awe, via size or skill in execution/workmanship, for example.  New research by Rudd and her team builds on previous studies detailing the benefits of feeling awed: “this research explores how the emotion of awe might motivate a consumer to partake . . . in experiential creation (i.e., activities in which they actively produce an outcome) by enhancing their willingness to learn. Across eight experiments, experiencing awe . . . increases people’s likelihood of choosing an experiential creation gift (vs.


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