Any Designed Environment

Implications of Spaciousness (03-14-19)

Meier and his team have confirmed one of the repercussions of being in an area that feels spacious. The investigators found that “To assess the reliability of findings showing that an expansive driver seat space predicts parking violations, we replicated an original field study in a geographically and socio-culturally different location and included an additional covariate. After controlling for car length, brand status, and car price, driver seat space remained a positive predictor of illegal parking.

Mood and Trust (03-13-19)

Design can influence mood; work by Engelmann and colleagues indicates that mood and trusting others are linked.  The researchers found that “Negative affect [mood] reduced trust, suppressed trust-specific activity in the left temporoparietal junction (TPJ) . . . .  Incidental aversive affect is a ubiquitous phenomenon that pervades many aspects of human behavior and human social interaction. Here, we investigated the behavioral and neural impact of incidental affect [mood] on trust decisions.

Soundproofing Spaces (03-12-19)

Researchers at Boston University have developed a new system for soundproofing spaces.  A press release from Boston University reports that Zhang, Ghaffarivardavagh, Anderson, and Nikolajczyk determined that “Although noise-mitigating barricades, called sound baffles, can help drown out the whoosh of rush hour traffic or contain the symphony of music within concert hall walls, they are a clunky approach not well suited to situations where airflow is also critical. . . .

Choosing Luxury (03-11-19)

Kapferer and Valette-Florence studied factors that encourage people to select luxury options.  They learned from “luxury buyers from six countries, both mature and emerging, Asian and Western. . . .  [that] self[-made]-success leads to a perception of luxury as a financial investment, whereas richness boosts the hedonistic [self-indulgent, pleasure related] function of luxury.”

Awe and Thinking About Science (03-06-19)

McPhetres has identified another benefit of feeling awed, after inducing awe by showing study participants scenes from the natural world (for instance, of the aurora borealis). McPhetres states that “Results from four pre-registered studies . . . indicate that manipulating awe through online . . . and virtual reality . . . videos, led to greater awareness of knowledge gaps [things that are no known].

Confirmation Blue Light Energizing (03-05-19)

Research conducted by Choi and team confirms that experiencing cooler light is energizing. They “investigated physiological and subjective responses to morning light exposure of commercially available LED lighting with different correlated colour temperatures to predict how LED-based smart lighting employed in future learning environments will impact students. . . . university students underwent an hour of morning light exposure to both warm (3,500 K) and blue-enriched (6,500 K) white lights at recommended illuminance levels for classrooms and lecture halls (500 lux).

Cooperation Valued Worldwide (03-04-19)

Curry, Mullins, and Whitehouse determined that cooperation is valued worldwide, so supporting cooperation via design is generally desirable.  The researchers report that “The theory of ‘morality-as-cooperation’ argues that morality consists of a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. Morality-as-cooperation . . .

Adding Music for Creativity? Beware! (03-01-19)

Research conducted by Threadgold and colleagues indicates the dangers of listening to music while attempting to think creatively.  The Threadgold-lead group reports that they “investigated the impact of background music on performance of Compound Remote Associate Tasks (CRATs), which are widely thought to tap creativity. Background music with foreign (unfamiliar) lyrics . . . instrumental music without lyrics . . . and music with familiar lyrics . . .

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