Cognition/Visual Perceptions

V. Dzebic (chair); M. Franěk; O. Kombeiz. Location: A901

Dynamic experience of urban environment as influenced by visual complexity

V. Dzebic & C.G. Ellard

Visual complexity is often cited as driving environmental preference, indeed it is the visual diversity found within the urban environment that makes it so appealing to many of us. Research in environmental preference often relies on experiments using photographs, yet this is not the way in which we experience the urban environment; instead our experiences are dynamic. In the present series of experiments, we attempt to capture the dynamic experience of the urban environment by leading participants on guided walks. In order to capture experience as dynamically and unobtrusively as possible, participants used a small pressure sensitive device to indicate their moment-to-moment enjoyment of the environment. In addition, indirect measures of sympathetic nervous system activity were captured via skin conductance and heart rate while pattern of gaze was recorded via mobile eye-tracking. Preliminary results suggest that the complexity of building facades in real environments exerts considerable influence on physiological arousal, affective state, and even walking speed. In our results, we will discuss the promise of wearable technology for describing the human experience of the urban environment, while exploring how such experiences are shaped by visual complexity.

The effect of visual priming on walking speed in an outdoor environment

M. Franěk & L. Režný

The effect of priming with visual information containing images of different types of urban environments on the speed of outdoor walks in an urban environment with trees and greenery was examined. The first type of images contained urban scenes with trees and greenery, while the second type of images contained scenes with shopping malls. Participants (N=126) were primed ether with the first or the second type of images and asked subsequently to walk though outdoor urban route with trees and greenery about 1 km long. The control group walked without any priming. The results showed that participants primed with the images contained trees and urban greenery walked significantly more slowly than the participants primed with shopping malls and the participants from the control group. The effect size was medium. The results are discussed in the context of cognitive engagement strategies enhancing the psychological benefits associated with outdoor walking.  It is possible that priming with photographs containing urban greenery enhanced cognitive processes to increase attention to the surrounding environment during the consequent walk through the route with urban greenery. Alternatively, viewing the photographs with threes could increase positive emotions, which resulted in slower and quieter walk.

Socially Beneficial Light: The Impact of Brightness and Color on Social Behavior

O. Kombeiz & A. Steidle

The present research aims at enlightening the light’s influence on social behavior. In two laboratory studies, the electric lighting conditions were varied in terms of their illuminance, color temperature (Study 1) and light color (Study 2). Building on previous research, we proposed that the consequences of the specific lighting conditions on the social behavior would depend on the activated cognitive, affective, and motivational states and processes. Correspondingly, dim and warm light which is associated with feelings of comfort and low fear of rejection promotes contact orientation and approach motivation (Study 1). The results of study 2 are currently analyzed. The results will be discussed with regard to the implications for embodiment and lighting research as well as for the design and architecture of social places.