Any Designed Environment

Painting Color Intensity (04-29-22)

In a study with applications beyond the specific research question investigated, Garay, Perez, and Pulga probed responses to color palettes used in paintings.  They report that “Most existing literature has ignored the potential effects that color intensity may have on art prices. . . . We examine 1627 paintings executed by the “Big Five” Latin American artists (Rivera, Tamayo, Lam, Matta, and Botero), and sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s between 2003 and 2017, to analyze this impact.

Lines and Evaluations (04-27-22)

Ouyang and colleagues learned how significantly the way product options are presented influences impressions formed; their findings are likely applicable more generally than the specific context investigated.  The researchers report that “Many retailers use seemingly innocuous dividing lines to separate product alternatives on their websites or product catalogs. . . . a dividing line can influence consumers' perceived quantity of the product alternatives displayed. . . .

Novel, Typical (04-21-22)

Suhaimi and teammates studied aesthetic preferences.  They learned that “There is a long history of humans attempting to understand what drives aesthetic preference. One line of inquiry examines the effects of typicality and novelty on aesthetic responses to designed products. There is currently a wide support towards the ‘Most Advanced Yet Acceptable’ (MAYA) principle, and studies underpinning this have focused on everyday objects. Despite the differences in the function of everyday objects, what they all have in common is their visibility.

Mimicry Can Pay-Off (04-20-22)

Van Kerckhove and teammates probed how form influences impressions made.  Their work “proposes surface mimicry—that is, designing a product to visually resemble another product—as an effective intervention to communicate property information to consumers. Specifically, it advances the notion that exposure to surface mimicry primes property mapping, a thinking style that leads consumers to transfer property information from one product onto another.

Sad Sounds (04-19-22)

Zeloni and Pavani report on sounds that humans link to sadness.  They share that “In Western music and in music of other cultures, minor chords, modes and intervals evoke sadness. . . . we asked expert musicians to transcribe into music scores spontaneous vocalizations of pre-verbal infants to test the hypothesis that melodic intervals that evoke sadness in music (i.e., minor 2nd) are more represented in cry compared to neutral utterances. Results showed that the unison, major 2nd, minor 2nd, major 3rd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th and perfect 5th are all represented in infant vocalizations.

Growing Up Wayfinding (04-13-22)

Coutrot and colleagues set out to learn more about how where we grew up influences our sense of direction; what they’ve learned may help explain previously baffling programming research findings, for example.  The Coutrot-lead team report that “how the environment in which one grew up affects later cognitive abilities remains poorly understood. Here we used a cognitive task embedded in a video game to measure non-verbal spatial navigation ability in 397,162 people from 38 countries across the world.

Music and Decision-Making (04-12-22)

Santangelo and associates studied the effects of hearing music on decisions made.  They determined that music is frequently played while we are engaged in other activities that rely on decision-making (e.g., driving). . . . We analyzed response times and accuracy from more than 100-thousand decisions and mapped the effects of music onto decision-process components with a mechanistic model of decision-making. We found evidence . . . . [that] decisions—across domains—were faster but less accurate with music. . . .


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