Any Designed Environment

Aesthetics and Alphabets (12-05-17)

Research indicates that human’s aesthetic preferences are reflected in the forms chosen for letters in alphabets and syllabaries (“in which characters represent syllables”).  Price, reporting on the work of Olivier Morin, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, shares that writing systems such as Cyrillic, Arabic, Sanskrit and 113 others “share basic structural features. . . .: characters with vertical symmetry (like the Roman letters A and T) and a preference for vertical and horizontal lines over oblique lines (like those in latters X and W). . . .

Experience, Personality and Noise (12-04-17)

Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise.  Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).”  The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.

Sun Still Effects Lives (11-30-17)

Monsivais and his colleagues learned that the timing of the natural light we experience during a day influences our behavior, even when we have ready access to artificial (electric, for example) light.  They report that “For humans living in urban areas, the modern daily life is very different from that of people who lived in ancient times, from which today’s societies evolved.  Mainly due to the availability of artificial lighting, modern humans have been able to modify their natural daily cycles. . . .


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