Any Designed Environment

Better Understanding Crowds (03-30-22)

People who design public spaces where crowding can be an issue will be intrigued by the findings of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (and available free of charge here: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2089).  A related press release reports that “A new model . . . takes the point of view of an individual crowd member, and is remarkably accurate at predicting actual crowd flow, its developers say. The model . . .

Noise and Heart Attacks (03-25-22)

A recent study confirms the negative health effects of noise exposure and supports the use of sound insulation.  Avel Moreyra lead a study that determined that “People experiencing high levels of noise from cars, trains or planes were more likely to suffer a heart attack. . . . Patients were divided into those experiencing high levels of transportation noise (an average of 65 decibels or higher over the course of the day) and those with low noise exposure (a daily average of less than 50 decibels). A noise level of 65 decibels is similar to a loud conversation or laughter.

Mood, Music Experiences (03-24-22)

Svanas-Hoh, Sanchez, and Tsay evaluated how mood influences evaluations of music; their findings can likely be extended to other situations in which assessments are made.  The team reports that “Across two studies, participants . . . listened to a recital (set) of six pieces and provided moment-to-moment evaluations of emotional intensity, as well as global REs [retrospective evaluations] of the pieces and the entire set. Trend was manipulated (between-subjects) by ordering pieces by increasing (Low-High) or decreasing (High- Low) emotional intensity.

Interrelated Sensory Experiences (03-23-22)

Research conducted by Lemon, Li, and Ali confirms that there are significant connections between our sensory experiences; their study is published in The Journal of Neuroscience.  A related press release reports that “If you have eaten a chili pepper, you have likely felt how your body reacts to the spicy hot sensation. New research published by biologists at the University of Oklahoma shows that the brain categorizes taste, temperature and pain-related sensations in a common region of the brain.

Paper Vs. Electronic Requests (03-21-22)

A recent study indicates that we respond differently to material presented on paper than on digital devices.  Allen shares that “research by Maferima Toure-Tillery  [co-author Lili Wang]. . . finds that people are more likely to engage in virtuous behavior when they make their selections on paper than when they are using a digital device. . . Their study, which was conducted in both the U.S. and China, shows that the effect extends to several types of virtuous behavior, from charitable giving to choosing educational reading material over page turners.

Time and Direction (03-18-22)

Beracci and Fabbri studied how time is perceived to map onto physical locations; their findings may be useful to people trying to understand research findings, for example.  The investigators report that prior research has shown that “Time is represented along a horizontal mental line with an association between the past (or short duration) and left space as well as between the future (or long duration) and right space. . . . The aim of the present study was to test the presence of a vertical representation of temporal expressions, overcoming possible methodological limits. . . .

Bias Toward What’s Expected (03-17-22)

Maister and colleagues learned how subjective our assessments of our own faces and bodies are; their findings can likely be applied in other situations in which assessments are made.  The researchers report that they “used a computational reverse-correlation technique to explore individuals’ mental ‘self-portraits’ of their faces and body shapes in an unbiased, data-driven way. . . . Self-portraits were similar to individuals’ real faces but, importantly, also contained clues to each person’s self-reported personality traits, which were reliably detected by external observers. . . . .

Vision – Taste Links (03-16-22)

Lee and Lim tie visual experiences to anticipated tastes.  They report that their “study examines the effects on viewers’ purchase intention of two visual design techniques used with food items in food advertising – repetition and alignment. . . . Three studies were conducted. . . . The findings of Study 1 and Study 2 reveal that repetition of food items enhanced viewers’ likelihood of purchasing the presented food through cross-modal responses between vision and taste. . . .  results . . . confirm . . .

Beauty and Goodness (03-15-22)

He and teammates link goodness and facial attractiveness;  it is possible that their findings can be applied more broadly.  The team report that “A well-documented ‘beauty is good’ stereotype is expressed in the expectation that physically attractive people have more positive characteristics. Recent evidence has also found that unattractive faces are associated with negative character inferences. . . This study tested the hypothesis that complementary ‘good is beautiful” and “bad is ugly” stereotypes bias aesthetic judgments. . . . this . . .

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