Any Designed Environment

Thinking with Things (05-27-20)

Malafouris’ work highlights the psychological implications of the things that fill our world.  As he reports, “We think ‘with’ and ‘through’ things, not simply ‘about’ things. . . . to think and to feel, we need more than a brain. Brain regions work in concert, but they are never alone; rather, they are always parts of broader systems extending beyond skin and skull. . . . New artifacts create novel relations and understandings of the world. New materialities bring about new modes of acting and thinking. . . .

Making Choices While Concerned (05-22-20)

Galoni, Carpenter, and Rao investigated the sorts of choices people make when they are concerned about potentially catching a contagious disease.  They determined  “that contagious disease cues [such as hearing someone cough] can also elicit fear. Across four experiments and two large empirical data analyses of the presence of contagious disease on actual consumption behavior, we find that cues of contagious disease increase both fear and disgust, and these emotions together form a unique behavioral tendency with respect to consumer behavior.

Report on ANFA 2018 (05-21-20)

Marks and Goldhagen circulated, via the Association for Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) mailing list, a report on ANFA’s last conference, held in 2018 in San Diego.  They share that Alex Coburn (UC San Francisco School of Medicine) reported that “scaling architecture incrementally with fractally-inspired patterns of leaves and ocean waves corresponds with improved memory and mood. . . .

Image Preferences (05-14-20)

Redies and colleagues studied the qualities of images to learn which ones are most likely to be present in preferred images.  They determined that “more saturated colors, correlates with positive ratings for valence [which ranged from pleasant to unpleasant]. . . . we obtained evidence from non-linear and linear analyses that affective pictures evoke emotions not only by what they show, but they also differ by how they show.”  

More on Awe (05-13-20)

Perlin and Li confirm that awe is linked to prosocial behavior.  As they report “Awe is an emotional response to stimuli. . . . Curiously, awe has prosocial effects [encourages us to act in ways that benefit other people] despite often being elicited by nonsocial stimuli.”  Awe can be inspired by phenomena that are large/vast, as well as by those that utilize rare materials or exhibit exquisite workmanship, for example.  

Nostalgia and Loneliness (05-12-20)

Loneliness is increasing throughout society and nostalgia can counter the negative effects of feeling lonely;  design decisions can support nostalgia.  Abeyta, Routledge, and Kaslon report that “Loneliness is difficult to overcome, in part because it is associated with negative social cognitions and social motivations. . . . nostalgia, a positive emotional experience that involves reflecting on cherished memories, is a psychological resource that regulates these maladaptive intrapsychic tendencies associated with loneliness. We tested this hypothesis across 4 studies.”

Movement and Personality (05-07-20)

Knight, Agnihotri, Chan, and Hedaoo determined that we can correctly infer a robot’s personality based on the way that it moves.  The team’s work focused on a robot vacuum cleaners and found that with no knowledge of the planned-in, “intended” robot personalities “people can correctly infer a robot’s personality solely by how it moves. . . . study participants also discerned intelligence from robot motion behaviors. . . . robot personality can influence engagement and trust. . . .

Aquarium Advantages (05-06-20)

Clements and colleagues studied the implications of having aquariums present in a space, either live or on video. After a literature review they report that “Nineteen studies were included [in their analysis]. Two provided tentative evidence that keeping home aquaria is associated with relaxation. The remaining studies involved novel interactions with fish in home or public aquariums.

Physical Properties: Relationships (05-04-20)

Guo, Courtney, and Fischer collected information that confirms how interrelated our sensory experiences are.  The team found that “physical properties are not always readily observable, and we often must rely on our knowledge of attributes such as weight, hardness, and slipperiness to guide our actions on familiar objects. . . . In a series of four visual search experiments, participants viewed arrays of everyday objects and were tasked with locating a specified object.

Petmorphic Design (04-30-20)

Row, Kim, and Nam used a novel approach to design smart cars.  As they report, their “research was based on a petmorphic design approach, which defines design attributes assuming an intelligent device can interact like a pet dog. . . . we present a set of pet-dog behavioral traits (PBT) and their application in enhancing emotional interaction in smart cars.


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