Any Designed Environment

An Audience While Choosing (04-02-20)

Zwebner and Schrift report on the repercussions of being in view of others while making decisions.  They share that “The present work . . . .[investigates] how consumers react to being observed during the preference-construction stage (i.e., prior to reaching their decision). . . . eight studies . . . find that being observed prior to reaching the decision threatens consumers’ sense of autonomy in making the decision, resulting in an aversion to being observed. Further, we find that such threats lead consumers to terminate their decision by avoiding purchase or by choosing default options.

Pavements and Flooding (03-31-20)

Particular pavement types can increase the probability of flooding.  Blum lead a team that found that “for every percentage point increase of roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, annual floods increase on average by 3.3%. This means that if an undeveloped river basin increases the amount of impervious surfaces from zero to 10%, scientists would expect, on average, a 33% increase in annual flooding. . . .

Viruses Indoors (03-30-20)

How interior environments influence virus spread was investigated by Iwasaki, Moriyama, and Hugentobler.  The researchers report that “seasonal moderation of relative humidity — the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity — could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission. (Viruses could still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises.) . . . there is a sweet spot in relative humidity for indoor environments, the review found.

Benefits of Nature-Based Experiences (03-27-20)

Weir reports on the findings of numerous studies that have established the psychological value of nature-based experiences.  The material related to experiencing nature while indoors have the widest applicability. Weir states, for example, that “Berman and colleagues found that study participants who listened to nature sounds like crickets chirping and waves crashing performed better on demanding cognitive tests than those who listed to other sounds like traffic and the clatter of a busy café. . . . .

Green Consumption and Prestige (03-26-20)

Kohlova and Urban identified a link between green consumption and perceived social status. As they report, they “examine[d] whether a green profile of consumption affects the social status of consumers. . . . results corroborate the expected positive effect of a green profile of consumption on the social status of consumers [more green consumption, higher perceived social status]. . . . our results imply that the explicit monetary cost of green consumption is not a decisive factor conditioning the effect of green consumption on social status. . .


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