OSU Studies In-Home Interactions Surrounding Energy Use

New research done at the Ohio State University suggests that your perspective on the thermostat conflict going on in your home in part may depend on whether you are a man or a woman.

This new study has taken a first look at these battles in a sample of Ohio homes. This would be the first study to collect data on joint-decisions by consumers pivoting around home temperature settings and how they might affect energy use.

The study found that there were three types of thermostat setting related interactions: agreements, compromises and conflicts.

Men, the research found, were the most likely to report their thermostat interactions with other household members as agreements or compromises. Meanwhile, women were slightly more likely to report this type of interaction as a conflict. This could mean that individuals’ perceptions of the origin of the interactions or even imply that women are typical the losers in this “war story.”

This work focuses on understanding consumer behavior around energy use including thins like the decision to install solar panels or not; buying a hybrid car or not.
The entirtity of the research can be found in the journal PLOS ONE

New Study Fins Deforestation Isn’t a Major Carbon Contributor

While it is true that deforestation leads to more carbon in the environment the effect on climate change by cutting down trees may be greatly overestimated, according to new research.

Deforestation caused by the timber industry and to create farmland is known to be responsible for 92 billion some tons of carbon emissions over the past century. This was discovered through a study done by the Ohio State University and Yale University.

This widely accepted estimate, according to researchers, did not take into account a fair few important items such as replanting new trees among other forestry techniques that lessen the burden on the environment due to deforestation.

The new study did take those factors into account and the new data paints a very different picture in parts of the world where intense forest management techniques are being used and to a lesser extent in parts of the world in which management is not so intense.
While previous estimates demonstrated that twenty-seven some percent of manmade carbon emissions were from deforestation. The new data suggests that the correct number is closer to a mere seven percent.

The new study figures that decreasing carbon emission in industry should be the focus.

Researchers warn though that environmental protection work should not be ignored when it comes to forests, as this work is what reduces the impact of deforestation.

New Study Finds Distractions May “Color” Reality

Is this blog a distraction or something you intended to read? Give pause, this may be more important than we think.Researchers at OSU have been studying distractions and their effect on our minds.

A new study as found that distractions, even the smallest interruptions that pull us away from the task at hand, might alter our perception of “the real.” Perhaps even making us think we saw something different from what we actually saw.

And furthermore, we live in a sea of distractions. We wear accessories that sound social media notifications. Our phones let us know of every email and vibrate at every breaking headline.
The study suggests that it isn’t just that our perception changes, but that we might not know it and even further we might feel more confident in the fiction created by distractions than we do in reality.
So, enough with the drama. What does this really mean?

The results of the study showed that sometimes people confuse the color of an item they were instructed to remember with the color of another item presented as a distraction. Some participants even remembered a color that was far different from the distraction object and closer to the color of the of the object they were to focus on.

To study the phenomenon participants were instructed to focus on one of four colored squares on a screen. Sometimes a bright outline would appear around one of the other squares trying to distract the participant. Then, participants were presented with a color spectrum wheel and instructed to click the area that most closely matched the color of the square they were to focus on.

The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance will publish the results.

Study at OSU Finds We Still Like Moral Characters Best

A new study of popular media found that even though the cinemascape is filled with villains we can sympathize with and heroes full of flaws we can’t forgive we like characters most when they are moral.

The study noted that participants liked heroes they rated as “most moral” and most disliked villains they rated as “most immoral.”

Characters like Walter White from the popular television show Breaking Bad who are morally ambiguous were more complicated for people to rate, however across all character types morality and likability were more than noticeably linked.

While media experts have long intuited that morally upstanding heroes are more likeable, the rise of the antihero in our culture’s media and the gusto with which we cheer for them brought this into question.

Researchers wanted to ask, does morality matter anymore?

Given lots of examples to rate on scales of likeability and morality some two hundred college students demonstrated that the simple fact is despite character type likeability is linked, inexorably, to morality.

Researchers discussed the fact that morally ambiguous characters are the hardest to predict outcome-wise and that relativity comes into play. If plot and perspective cast a Walter White type character as the villain, he would mostly like be disliked by most viewers. Whereas in Breaking Bad he is still more moral than many of the other main characters cast as villains.

The Journal of Media Psychology will publish these findings in print.

How People With Relationship Issues Consume Media

Folks who have trouble with romantic relationships may use movies and television as a way to experience what they have trouble with in real life. A new study suggests that those with attachment issues are more likely to be engaged in the stories of the media they consume. Meaning they feel more connected to the characters and think about they, the viewer, would do in the characters’ situations.

The results further suggest this provides a consequence free space in which to deal with relationships issues.

The study examined a little over one thousand Americans eighteen or older. It examined to facets of attachment in romantic relationships—avoidance an anxiety. Those who score high in avoidance tend to keep an emotional distance from their partners. Those who score high in anxiety are what we colloquially refer to as “needy”. In other words, they need constant validation their partner cares about them.

The participants also answered lots of questions about how they engage with the media they consume. Without much surprise, those who scored highly in avoidance, but low in anxiety felt very little connection to the characters and their problems. According to researchers, they treat the characters as they do people in their real lives. So then, those who scored high in anxiety were strongly connected to the stories and characters from their media consumption.

Most interesting were those that scored high in both avoidance and anxiety. They were the most absorbed with the stories and characters in the media they consumed. They made comments saying that the media helped them understand people they weren’t familiar with. That they imagined the outcomes of different choices the characters could have made. That they liked to imagine they new the characters personally.