Weingarten and Goodman’s research provides more nuanced insights into experiential consumption. They report that “A wealth of consumer research has proposed an experiential advantage: consumers yield greater happiness from purchasing experiences compared to material possessions. . . . the authors develop a model of consumer happiness and well-being based on psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, relatedness [need to feel social bonds to other humans], self-esteem, and meaningfulness), and conduct an experiential advantage meta-analysis to test this model. . .
Any Designed Environment
Research by Weiss and Merlo confirms the value of designing spaces to support particular moods. The Weiss-Merlo team reports, that “affective [emotional] states influence work performance by impacting the attentional resources dedicated to the task. . . . When people fully engage their attention on the task, performance is optimized. . . . negative affective states negatively influence concurrent . . . performance through attentional misallocation. . . . positive affective states can enhance attentional focus and . . . performance.”
Cupchik’s analysis supports efforts to provide users with moderate visual complexity. As he reports “Experimental aesthetics was founded in 1867 by Gustav Fechner and reinvigorated by Daniel Berlyne in 1974. . . . Berlyne used enhanced stimulus control and behavioral techniques to support Fechner’s idea that people prefer moderate levels of complexity.”
Research continues to detail the many, nuanced implications of seeing the color red. Pontes and Hoegg report that “Three studies demonstrate a red-derogation effect for married women’s judgments such that men are perceived to be less attractive and less sexually desirable when their profiles are displayed on a red versus a white background. We show that married (vs. single) women perceive the color red as a threat cue which, in turn, evokes avoidance tendencies. Our studies indicated that married (vs. single) women became more risk averse . . .
Fosgaard and colleagues investigated how being viewed by others influences our behavior. They determined that “when behavior is anonymous, uncertainty about which [social] norm guides partners reduces aggregate norm compliance. However, when others can observe behavior, introducing a small degree of norm uncertainty increases aggregate norm compliance. This implies that norm uncertainty may actually facilitate interaction as long as behavior is observable and uncertainty is sufficiently small.”
A research team lead by Battal confirms that individuals with atypical sensory capabilities may process stimuli differently. The investigators studied “auditory-localization abilities in 17 congenitally blind and 17 sighted individuals using a psychophysical minimum-audible-angle task that lacked sensorimotor confounds. Participants were asked to compare the relative position of two sound sources located in central and peripheral, horizontal and vertical, or frontal and rear spaces.
The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer is making available, at the web address noted below, an information-packed video that will be useful both to people designing lightscapes and also to anyone working from home. At the source website, the LRC shares that it “has released a new video on how to maintain good sleep while working from home, or quarantining indoors, which is becoming more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cox and colleagues’ work sheds new light on Stonehenge’s design and indicates the power of acoustic experiences. The researchers determined that “this ancient monument in southern England created an acoustic space that amplified voices and improved the sound of any music being played for people standing within the massive circle of stones. . . .
Research conducted by O’Rourke and colleagues indicates how important it is to align the form of a space with the culture of the people who will use it. The O’Rourke lead team report that their “study compared two Indigenous sample populations in Australia to examine the effect of the physical environment in public hospitals and clinics on Indigenous people’s perceptions and experiences of waiting for care. Quantitative survey data . . . measured perceptions of relevant design attributes using paired images in a screen-based survey. Semi-structured interviews . . .
A research team lead by Aryani confirms that humans link particular shapes and sounds. Aryani and colleagues report that “Prior investigations have demonstrated that people tend to link pseudowords such as bouba to rounded shapes and kiki to spiky shapes, but the cognitive processes underlying this matching bias have remained controversial. . . . we found that kiki-like pseudowords and spiky shapes, compared with bouba-like pseudowords and rounded shapes, consistently elicit higher levels of affective [emotional] arousal.”