Affective Appraisal of Hospital Reception Scenes: Volume I: Healthcare Ergonomics

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This article describes an affective evaluation of hospital reception scenes and aims to identify dimensions that derive from environmental affection and the physical attributes which most influence this type of judgment. Two hospital reception scenes, typical of private hospitals in the region focused on in this research, one which was judged to have a relaxing quality and the other, exciting, were used as stimuli to collect data from 75 subjects, through a questionnaire, and whose responses were analyzed using graphics and frequency distribution tables. Findings confirm that the scene with relaxing quality raises the perceived affective quality, while the other, with an exciting quality, reduces it. It has also been found that color; furniture and size are the physical attributes which most influence these judgments.

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This report surveys and evaluates the scientific research on evidence-based healthcare design and extracts its implications for designing better and safer hospitals. It builds on a literature review conducted by researchers in 2004. Research teams conducted a new and more exhaustive search for rigorous empirical studies that link the design of hospital physical environments with healthcare outcomes. The review followed a two-step process, including an extensive search for existing literature and a screening of each identified study for the relevance and quality of evidence. This review found a growing body of rigorous studies to guide healthcare design, especially with respect to reducing the frequency of hospital-acquired infections. Results are organized according to three general types of outcomes: patient safety, other patient outcomes, and staff outcomes. The findings further support the importance of improving outcomes for a range of design characteristics or interventions, including single-bed rooms rather than multibed rooms, effective ventilation systems, a good acoustic environment, nature distractions and daylight, appropriate lighting, better ergonomic design, acuity-adaptable rooms, and improved floor layouts and work settings. Directions for future research are also identified. The state of knowledge of evidence-based healthcare design has grown rapidly in recent years. The evidence indicates that well-designed physical settings play an important role in making hospitals safer and more healing for patients, and better places for staff to work.
Affective appraisal is one aspect of how someone interprets an environment. The author explains the concept, then goes on to look at the structure of affective qualities - those qualities that have the capacity to alter mood - using diagrammatic representations. Affective quality is a key factor determining the human response to an environment and cannot be omitted from the assessment of that environment. -C.Lloyd
Twenty subjects provided similarity data for twenty photographs of molar physical environments from each of four cognitive sets by following instructions concerning which aspects of the environment to attend to: Unspecified, Activity, Function, or Emotion. An INDSCAL analysis of the data showed that the same five-dimensional structure emerged independently of cognitive set. The effect of cognitive set was to alter the relative salience of the dimensions. The five-dimensional structure was interpreted as consisting of a host of highly interrelated dimensions, thus precluding a simple, unambiguous interpretation of the dimensions.
One might be tempted to dismiss the preceding statement, made at a Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference on Natural Beauty, by the Conference Chairman, Frank Masland, Jr., as the sort of rhetoric expected of a keynote speaker at such a gathering. Yet, though there may be no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the rather sweeping assertion concerning the power of beauty and ugliness to exert such profound effects on human beings (and this writer knows of none), it may well reflect commonly held beliefs about the impact of the aesthetic quality of the environment on the individual. Such convictions have, of course, been expressed for centuries by philosophers, naturalists, writers, etc., and are certainly not limited to laymen, or politicians, even today, as reflected in the following quote from an environmentally concerned biologist in a letter in Science: ...has there been, or will there soon be sufficient selection by polluted metropolitan environments to erase man’s unspoken needs for open spaces, wild mountains, clean lakes, or small towns? Does Dobzhansky mean it is desirable to permit (let alone encourage) adaptation to New York-type cities, their bleak lifeless canyons of stone crawling with humanity, their noisy streets and overcrowded subways?... I don’t know whether Dobzhansky has forgotten what it was like to walk the dunes in solitude or to swim in the ocean, but to most humans... it is pleasanter than basking in 5 P.M.traffic on Fifth Avenue (Iltis, 1967).*
To improve community appearance, planners need to know how the public evaluates the cityscape: their evaluative image of the city. This article presents research aimed at uncovering this information. In two U.S. cities, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, we interviewed 220 residents by phone and 180 visitors face-to-face, asking them to specify areas they liked and areas they disliked visually and to describe the physical features accounting for their evaluations. From each interview we prepared an evaluative map of the city. We then overlaid these maps to produce for each city and for residents and visitors separately a composite map—the evaluative image of the city. The evaluative maps suggest effects of city structure and experience, and they indicate five desirable features—naturalness, upkeep, openness, order, and historical significance. By showing the identity, location, and likability of visual features, evaluative maps provide a basis for a visual plan.
This chapter considers the contribution of the psychology of perception to the study of landscape aesthetics. It deals with a variety of factors that play a role in human preference for landscapes, such as the need to comprehend one's surroundings, and the concern to learn and be stimulated ("involvement'). The visual environment and three-dimensional space are examined, and an overview is given using a preference matrix. The author also attempts to address some widely held misconceptions about preference and perception. -C.Lloyd
Discusses the methods and tasks of experimental aesthetics with special reference to the relations between verbal judgments and measures of nonverbal behavior. Data on the motivational effects of complexity illustrate some of the methodological and substantive problems. Questions of intercultural consistency, the dimensional structure of verbal ratings, and the relations between verbal evaluations and exploratory behavior are examined. (French summary) (64 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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