Any Designed Environment

Vertical Greenery and Stress (07-16-21)

Hian and colleagues used virtual reality to study the psychological implications of vertical (e.g., on the sides of buildings) greenery.  They report that they “examined the buffering effects of vertical greenery, an increasingly popular form of urban nature in high-density cities, by using VR to simulate the experience of walking through a noisy downtown area where buildings’ exteriors were covered with vertical greenery. Our results suggest that vertical greenery on city buildings can buffer against the negative psychophysiological consequences of stress. . . .

Designing Robots (07-15-21)

Belanche and colleagues evaluated responses to robots providing services; their conclusions are can be applied to design robot waiters or robot concierges in workplaces, for example.  The investigators report that their  “study analyzes to what extent robots' perceived physical human-likeness, perceived competence, and perceived warmth affect customers' service value expectations and, subsequently, their loyalty intentions. . . . human-likeness positively affects four dimensions of service value expectations [functional, social, monetary, and emotional value].

Wellbeing and Time with Nature (07-12-21)

Gola and teammates studied how 20-30 minutes of contact with nature influences wellbeing.  They learned that “The Scientific Community . . . has already demonstrated the importance of greenery and nature on the psychophysical well-being of people and, in a moment of emergency, contact with the nature can be therapeutic and quite influential on the mental health of staff subject to stress.During the lockdown, an Italian multidisciplinary working group promoted an experience-based survey . . .for measuring the psychophysical well-being of hospital staff.. .

Navigating, With and Without GPS (07-06-21)

Heft, Schwimmer, and Edmunds studied the implications of using visual navigation systems, such as GPS. They report that “One group of participants drove a simulated car in VR along a designated path while relying on visual GPS guidance. It was expected that use of the GPS display would draw attention away from temporally continuous path information. A second group initially drove the same route without GPS guidance. Both groups drove the path a second time without navigational assistance.

Quick Mental Refreshment (07-05-21)

Kimura and colleagues assessed the how mentally refreshing various situations are.  They report that they conducted an experiment that “involved measuring the changes in the task performance of the participants (i.e., sustained attention to response task) and the subjective mental workload . . . while the attention restoration was indexed from physiological response (i.e., skin conductance level, SCL) over time.

Sounds and Shapes, in English (07-02-21)

Sidhu and colleagues extended research findings previously derived with nonwords to English words. The group reports that “Sound symbolism refers to associations between language sounds (i.e., phonemes) and perceptual and/or semantic features. One example is the maluma/takete effect: an association between certain phonemes (e.g., /m/, /u/) and roundness [as, for example, with maluma], and others (e.g., /k/, /ɪ/) and spikiness [as, for instance, with takete]. While this association has been demonstrated in laboratory tasks with nonword stimuli. . . .

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