sensory science

Coffee Drinking as a Multi-Sensory Experience (04-23-20)

Spence and Carvalho add to the interesting body of research linking sensory experiences. Via a literature review focused on factors related to drinking coffee they found, for example, that “Those who liked strong coffee tended to drink more under conditions where the ambient lighting was bright (two 500 watt halogen lamps), while those who self-reported preferring weaker coffee drank more under dim conditions instead (one 60-watt incandescent bulb) [Gal, Wheeler, and Shiv 2007]. . . . Knoferle (2012) . . .

Viewing Art: Effects of Art Size (04-22-20)

Estrada-Gonzalez and teammates studied the effects of painting size on museum visitors’ viewing behaviors.  A literature review completed by the team before they began to collect data revealed that “Seidel and Prinz (2018) . . . found that merely altering physical scale of a painting (small vs. large) influenced aesthetic judgment. Participants evaluated larger reproductions more positively, regardless of whether the painting was high in complexity (Picasso’s Three Musicians) or low (Joan Miro’s Blue II).  . . .

Cross Cultural Music (04-21-20)

Beier and colleagues researched how culture influences responses to music.  They report on “measure[ing] chill responses, sudden increases in emotional arousal, through self-report and skin conductance measures. Excerpts of Western classical, traditional Chinese, and Hindustani classical music were presented to 3 groups of participants, each familiar with one of these styles. Participants felt a similar number of chills to both familiar and unfamiliar musical styles, but significantly fewer chills to scrambled music, which acted as a control.

Social Distancing Challenge (04-20-20)

A recent article in Current Biology details why social distancing is so difficult for humans.  Deroy, Frith, and Dezecache report that “people instinctively tend to huddle together when faced with an acute danger – in other words, they actively seek closer social contacts. . . .  threatening situations make us even more cooperative and more likely to be socially supportive than we usually are. . .

Work-Leisure Conflicts (04-16-20)

Etkin and Memmi researched how we decide whether to spend time working or not working; future research may support extrapolating their findings to the allocation of resources besides time.  Etkin and Memmi report that “Leisure is desirable and beneficial, yet consumers frequently forgo leisure in favor of other activities—namely work. . . . Because work tends to be easier to justify and leisure harder to justify, goal conflict increases time spent on work and decreases time spent on leisure.  . . . The findings. . . .

Temperature Effects (04-14-20)

Spence investigated how temperature is linked to the experience of other sensory stimuli.  His review of the literature indicates that “The last few years have seen an explosive growth of research interest in the crossmodal correspondences, the sometimes surprising associations that people experience between stimuli, attributes, or perceptual dimensions, such as between auditory pitch and visual size, or elevation. . . . I take a closer look at temperature-based correspondences.

Architecture and Fire (04-13-20)

Zografos has written an interesting text that will intrigue people developing an assortment of different sort of sites.  As detailed at its UCL Press website, Architecture and Firefocuses on “the intimate relationship between architecture and fire.  Stamatis Zografos expands on the general agreement among many theorists that the primitive hut was erected around fire – locating fire as the first memory of architecture, at the very beginning of architectural evolution. . . . [Zografos] explore[s] the ambivalent nature of fire . . .

Workplace Redesign and Environmental Satisfaction (04-10-20)

Kim and colleagues evaluated the effects of a open-plan workplace redesign project on the environmental satisfaction of the people working in the space.  Data were collected via objective measures of physical conditions and an online survey.  The team report that one floor in a multi-floor office building in Seattle was renovated: “Changes were made to the floor’s layout, and to the size of employees’ workspaces.  New sound-masking technology and a modern lighting framework were added. . . .

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