Any Designed Environment

Curvier Preferred (07-19-17)

Cotter and team’s research adds to our understanding of human beings’ preference for curved items.  They report that  “A preference for smooth curvature, as opposed to angularity, is a well-established finding for lines, two-dimensional shapes, and complex objects. . . .  We [found that] people preferred curved over angular stimuli. . . . For one stimulus set—the irregular polygons. . . . People with more knowledge about the arts . . . showed greater curvature preferences, as did people higher in openness to experience. . . .

Color Preferences (07-18-17)

Schloss and Palmer investigated why people tend to prefer particular colors.  Their findings align with common sense: “There are well-known and extensive differences in color preferences between individuals . . . there are also within-individual differences from one time to another. . . . they have the same underlying cause: people’s . . . experiences with color-associated objects and events. . . . preference for a given color is determined by the combined valence (liking/disliking) of all objects and events associated with that color.”

Cut the Dust to Cut the Fat (07-17-17)

An article published in Environmental Science and Technology reports that exposure to dust can affect how much someone weighs.  The study’s findings indicate that easy dust removal/low dust accumulation environments (as well as curtailing the use of certain chemicals) may help keep our BMIs in healthy zones.  A press release from the American Chemical Society indicates that “Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are major contributors to the world’s obesity epidemic, but researchers have also identified common environmental pollutants that could play a role.

Photos and Experience (07-13-17)

Taking a photograph of something influences our sensory memories of it.  Barasch and her team (in press) found that “even without revisiting any photos, participants who could freely take photographs during an experience recognized more of what they saw and less of what they heard, compared with those who could not take any photographs. Further, merely taking mental photos had similar effects on memory. These results provide support for the idea that photo taking induces a shift in attention toward visual aspects and away from auditory aspects of an experience. . . .

Decluttering with Images (07-12-17)

Recent research indicates that it’s easier for people to discard “cluttering” objects after they photograph them.  Reczek, Winterich, and Irwin “found that people were more willing to give away unneeded goods that still had sentimental value if they were encouraged to take a photo of these items first. . . . ‘What people really don’t want to give up is the memories associated with the item,’ said Rebecca Reczek  . . . . ‘We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.’ . . .


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