place science

Nostalgia and Recycling (12-10-20)

Zhang, Gong, and Jiang evaluated how feeling nostalgic influences recycling behavior; research has repeatedly shown that design can encourage people to feel nostalgic.  The Zhang-lead team reports that “We suggest that nostalgia induces a sense of meaning, which in turn encourages customers to recycle more. . . . Study 1 (in a cafeteria) and Study 2 (in a lab) showed that nostalgia elicited by nostalgic music increased recycling behavior, while Study 3 found that nostalgia induced by nostalgic product designs improved recycling intentions.

Green Appeal (12-09-20)

Palomo-Velez and teammates assessed interpersonal implications of environmentally responsible behavior.  They determined that “sustainable consumption may communicate traits that are valued in romantic partners.  Sustainable consumers are perceived as attractive for both short and long-term romantic relationships. . . . [results] suggest that people presented as having purchased green products are perceived as more generous and more attractive as long-term – but also short-term – romantic partners. . .

Warning vs. Beauty (12-08-20)

Wang and colleagues investigated responses to environmental advertisements, but their findings are applicable, outside the specific situation in which data were collected. The researchers report that their study indicates “a difference in beauty-related experience between warning- and vision-based advertisements, with higher scores in the ‘interesting’ dimensions and lower scores in the ‘boring’ ones, accompanied by the more intense ‘awesome,’ ‘inspiring,’ and ‘surprising’ experiences for warning-based than for vision-based advertisements. . .

Implications of Shared Features (12-07-20)

Hughes and research partners developed the shared features principle. They provide details about the principle, which  “refers to the idea that when 2 stimuli share 1 feature, people often assume that they share other features as well. . . .  Our results indicate that behavioral intentions, automatic evaluations, and self-reported ratings of a target object were influenced by the source object with which the target shared a feature. This was even the case when participants were told that there was no relation between source and target objects.

Soundscape Evaluations (12-04-20)

Research conducted by Tarlao, Steffens, and Guastavino confirms the many factors can influence perceptions of sound being experienced besides the actual noises themselves. The team reports that “Previous soundscape research has shown a complex relationship between soundscapes, public space usage and contexts of users’ visits to the space. . . . The present study is a comparative analysis of in situquestionnaires collected over four study sites in Montreal . . . . in both French and English. . . .  The analyses. . .. .

Culture and Design (12-03-20)

Researchers studying gestures across cultures have identified similarities and differences in their use that are relevant to people designing systems interfaces and other places/objects to be used by people from varying cultures. Zhang, Gai, Wu, Liu, Oiu, Wang, and Wang’s work with people from the US and China is discussed in a Penn State press release:  “Imagine changing the TV channel with a wave of your hand or turning on the car radio with a twist of your wrist.  Freehand gesture-based interfaces in interactive systems are becoming more common. . . .

Biological Diversity and Wellbeing Linked (12-02-20)

Methorst and colleagues investigated links between nearby species biodiversity and human wellbeing. The researchers report that they “examine[d] the relationship between species diversity and human well-being at the continental scale, while controlling for other known drivers of well-being. We related socio-economic data from more than 26,000 European citizens across 26 countries with macroecological data on species diversity and nature characteristics for Europe.

Air Pollution and Mental Performance (12-01-20)

Research completed by a Mullen-lead team not only confirms the value of air outside being fresh, but also the advantages of air brought into buildings being “scrubbed.”  The investigators report that  “Fine particulate air pollution is harmful to children in myriad ways. While evidence is mounting that chronic exposures are associated with reduced academic proficiency, no research has examined the frequency of peak exposures. . . .

Language, Culture and Experience (11-30-20)

Research confirms that our experiences are influenced by language being spoken and culture. Gianola, Losin, and Llabre found, via a study published in Affective Science, that “the language a bilingual person speaks can affect their physical sensations, depending on the cultural association tied to each vernacular. . . . bilingual Hispanic/Latino participants . . . participate[d] in separate English and Spanish testing sessions. During both sessions, they received a pain-induction procedure, when an experimenter applied painful heat to their inner forearm.

Wooden Effects (11-25-20)

Salvador, in the course of a furniture design project, completed a literature review focused on the psychological implications of experiencing wooden materials.  He reports that “A literary review based study revealed woodenmaterials in interiors and objects to have a positive psychological influence in humans, with a pacifying and relaxing effect.”


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