Any Designed Environment

Art, Meanings (09-23-19)

Schepman and Rodway evaluated meanings attributed to abstract and representational art.  Working with adults who were not art experts, they found that meanings attributed to artworks “were shared to a somewhat greater extent for representational art but that meanings for abstract artworks were also shared above baseline. . . . analyses . . . showed core shared meanings for both art types, derived from literal and metaphoric interpretations of visual elements. The findings support the view that representational art elicits higher levels of shared meaning than abstract art.”

Eating and Decision-Making (09-20-19)

Design can support effective decision-making by providing access to places where people can prepare food and eat comfortably, at workplaces and other similar locations outside the home.  Organizational policies and procedures are key for the effective use of these spaces.  Benjamin Vincent and Jordan Skrynka determined that “hunger significantly altered people’s decision-making, making them impatient and more likely to settle for a small reward that arrives sooner than a larger one promised at a later date. . . .

A Problematic Pattern (09-19-19)

A recent press release from the Association for Psychological Science indicates that there is an issue with the design of the most recently released iPhone.  The press release reports that “The three camera lenses on the new Pro and Pro Max phones have sparked reactions from people who suffer from trypophobia—a fear of clusters of small holes like those found in English muffins, honeycomb, or lotus flowers. . . . complaints about the iPhone design have drawn attention to a seminal 2013 study published in Psychological Science.  Vision scientists Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins. . .

Yellow! (09-18-19)

Hu, Rosa, and Andersonstudied the feasibility of using yellow in situations where safety is important and found it is a good option when timely visibility is important.  They investigated if “yellow differentially influence[s] attention and action and if so is this related to purely visual or affective factors? . .

Standing and Thinking (09-17-19)

As more and more people use standing desks, understanding how standing influences thinking becomes more important.  Smith, Davoli, Knapp, and Abrams report that “Postural changes and the maintenance of postural stability have been shown to affect many aspects of cognition. . . .  we examined the extent to which selective visual attention may differ between standing and seated postures in three tasks: the Stroop color-word task, a task-switching paradigm, and visual search.

Time and Placement (09-16-19)

Romero, Craig, and Kumar studied physical experiences and perceptions of time.  They report that “Cognitive linguistic studies have found that people perceive time to be intertwined with space. Western consumers, in particular, visualize time on a horizontal spatial axis, with past events on the left and future events on the right. . . . Integrating cognitive linguistics, time psychology, and intertemporal choice . . . five studies [demonstrate] that when choices are displayed horizontally (vs. vertically), consumers more steeply discount future outcomes. . . . horizontal (vs.

Batteries and Perceptions of Distance (09-12-19)

Researchers from the University of London have found that we may now be defining journey length not just in terms of miles/kilometers but also in terms of the battery life of our mobile phones.  Investigators, lead by Thomas Robinson, found during a study of London commuters that participants “viewed their daily trip in terms of the time and distance between charging points for mobile technology. ‘People no longer think about their destination being 10 km away or 10 stops on the tube. They think about it being 50 per cent of their battery away,’ said the study’s lead author, Dr.

Body Perceptions Linked to Smells and Sounds (09-10-19)

Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the University of Sussex, and University College London investigated how scents and sounds influence our perceptions of our bodies. The team found “that olfactory stimuli combined with auditory stimuli can change our perception of our body. . . . People feel thinner and lighter when exposed to the smell of lemon, while feeling heavier and more corpulent when they smell vanilla. . . . Through a device adapted to a pair of shoes . . . .

“Beautiful” Music (09-09-19)

Omigie and colleagues probed the implications of listening to “beautiful” music; their findings may be applicable to other sensory experiences.  Via an online survey and lab-based research, during which physiological data were collected, the investigators assessed how “self-identified beautiful passages (BPs), in self-selected music, may be distinguishable in terms of their affective [emotional] qualities. . . .  three BP subtypes that we labeled Low-Tension/Low-Energy (LTLE), Low-Tension/High-Energy (LTHE), and High-Tension/High-Energy (HTHE) BPs [were identified].

Low Frequencies and Experience (09-05-19)

Hearing low frequencies has significant effects on life experiences. Scientists report “this exploratory study was designed to investigate the effects of lower frequency sound (10 Hz to 200 Hz) on the perception of the mouthfeel character of palate weight/body. . . . Wines were the tastants — a New Zealand Pinot Noir and a Spanish Garnacha — which were tasted in silence and with a 100 Hz (bass) and a higher 1000 Hz sine wave tone. . . .

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