Any Designed Environment

Environment and Disease (10-15-21)

Munzel and colleagues continue the research into links between environmental conditions and disease.  They report that “Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are fatal for more than 38 million people each year and are thus the main contributors to the global burden of disease accounting for 70% of mortality. The majority of these deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease.

Politics and Experiences (10-13-21)

Buisch and colleagues investigated links between political orientation and place experience.  They report that “Based on work suggesting possible ideological differences in genes related to low-level sensory processing, we predicted that taste (i.e., gustatory) sensitivity would be associated with political ideology. In 4 studies . . . we test this hypothesis and find robust support for this association. In Studies 1–3, we find that sensitivity to the chemicals PROP and PTC—2 well established measures of taste sensitivity—are associated with greater political conservatism.

Choice Drivers (10-12-21)

Ebert and teammates investigated influences on decisions made.  They share “evidence on the relationship of individual and regional personality with spending behavior. Analyzing the spending records of 111,336 participants (31,915,942 unique transactions) across 374 Local Authority Districts (LAD) in the United Kingdom, we first show that geographic regions with higher aggregate scores on a given personality trait collectively spend more money on categories associated with that trait.

Awe and Creativity (10-08-21)

Zhang and colleagues’ work confirms links between feeling awed and thinking creatively.  The team reports that “on days when participants felt more daily awe than they typically do, they reported having done more everyday creative activities. The effects of awe were independent of amusement . . . and Big Five personality. . . .   These results are the first to demonstrate a consistent link between awe and complementary measures of creativity.”

Nature Name Benefits (10-07-21)

Hahnel-Peeters and colleagues investigated the implications of using nature words in names;  their findings confirm the psychological value of in-nature experiences.  The researchers report that “In Study 1, we conducted a content analysis of the naming conventions of apartment buildings and residential neighborhoods. We hypothesized that there would be more nature words (e.g., valley, river, arbor) in apartment and neighborhood names than nonnature words (e.g., 4th Street; Renaissance, Washington). . . .

Managing Scents (10-06-21)

Shiner’s discussion of scents, art, and scents in/as art addresses, in a thought-provoking way, the role of sensory experiences in our lives.  As materials on the Oxford University webpage for this text ( ) detail:   “This book offers an overview of the aesthetic and ethical issues raised by the contemporary olfactory arts, which range from gallery and museum sculptures and installations, through the

Material Aesthetics (10-05-21)

Marschallek and team studied how we discuss materials with the goal of better understanding how we experience differences in them.  The group reports that “this study examines the conceptual structure of the aesthetics of various materials (Werkstoffe)—for instance, leather, metal, and wood. . . . we asked 1,956 students to write down adjectives that could be used to describe the aesthetics of materials. . . . A second subsample of a broader cross-section of the population (n = 496) replicated the findings obtained with the first subsample.

New Version of CS Calculator Available (10-01-21)

A new version of an ever useful circadian stimulus calculator is available; it will be as useful to people doing things such as developing circadian lighting systems as the previous one.  The website at which the new calculator is available free of charge (noted below) shares that “The Light and Health Research Center (LHRC) at Mount Sinai has released an extensively revised version of its free, open access circadian stimulus (CS) calculator based on recent advances in the understanding of light’s effects on the human circadian system.  As with earlier incarnations of the tool created when


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