Researchers link feelings of ownership to greater likelihood of helping others. Jami, Kouchaki, and Gino knew “from previous studies that touching an object increases psychological ownership. . . . Like touch, customization had been shown in previous studies to engender a sense of ownership. . . . participants [in the Jami, Kouchaki, and Gino study] whose sense of ownership had been activated were more generous than those in the control group. . . .
Any Designed Environment
Fokkinga, Desmet, and Hekkert assessed the dimensions of human experience of design. After collecting data via a series of expert workships the trio identified three levels of user-product interactions “At the base, user-product interaction evokes three types of direct product experience: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. The second level describes more indirect and long-term types of impact: on behaviors, attitudes, (general) experiences, and users’ and stakeholders’ knowledge.
Rosenthal and colleagues studied how color is experienced in the brain. They report that they used “multivariate analyses of measurements of brain activity obtained with magnetoencephalography to reverse-engineer a geometry of the neural representation of color space. . . . We evaluate the approach by relating the results to universal patterns in color naming. . . . prominent patterns of color naming could be accounted for by the decoding results: the greater precision in naming warm colors compared to cool colors.”
Stancato and Keltner continue to research the implications of feeling awed. People can be awed by craftsmanship, material use, or other aspects of design. Stancato and Keltner report that “Guided by prior work documenting that awe promotes humility, increases perceptions of uncertainty, and diminishes personal concerns. . . we tested the hypothesis that awe results in reduced conviction about one’s ideological attitudes. . . .
Cobanoglu, of the University of South Florida, reports on work conducted with Ali, Nanu, Shahtakhtinskaya, and Rahman related to mask wearing during the pandemic and optimal mask colors. It may be possible to apply these findings in additional contexts. The researchers learned via a survey administered to 1,800 Americans during which “respondents visited a restaurant or hotel as a guest, doing so virtually. . . . Results show that customers perceive higher service quality in a restaurant or hotel if employees wear masks, regardless of the color or type of mask. . . . Results show . . .
Dolese and Kozbelt studied preferences for different sorts of art, among other topics. They report that “Here we develop and analyze results of a survey . . . Comparisons of artists’ and nonartists’ ratings on highly abstract versus representational paintings showed a consistent strong effect for painting type, with representational paintings receiving generally higher ratings on . . . liking by both groups.”
Evans continues his important work linking the spaces where children grow up to their later-in-life experiences. He reports that “Child development reflects interactions between personal characteristics and the physical and social environment. . . . In this article, I describe . . . physical-setting characteristics that can influence child development, focusing on environmental stressors such as noise, crowding, and chaos along with structural quality of housing, day care, and schools.
Neuroscientists have developed a clear understanding of how symmetry, line, harmony, balance, and similar fundamental attributes of design influence how we think and behave and how and when these design elements should be employed in practice.
Design, of spaces or objects or anything else, has the capacity to sooth and comfort the humans that encounter it. Neuroscience research details how design can be used to make calm, positive emotional states more likely.
Smells smelled and tastes tasted are powerful drivers of human wellbeing, as symptoms experienced by some during the recent pandemic indicate. For decades prior to the spread of COVID-19, however, cognitive scientists have been investigating how scents can influence achievement of design-related objectives and how design affects taste sensations.