Temperature–Color Interaction: Subjective Indoor Environmental Perception and Physiological Responses in Virtual Reality

Objective Temperature–color interaction effects on subjective perception and physiological responses are investigated using a novel hybrid experimental method combining thermal and visual stimuli from real and virtual reality (VR) environments, respectively. Background Despite potential building design applications, studies combining temperature with daylight transmitted through colored glazing are limited due to hard-to-control light conditions. VR is identified as a promising experimental tool for such investigations that overcomes the limitations of experiments using daylight. Method Fifty-seven people participated in an experiment combining three colored glazing (orange/blue/neutral) and two temperatures (24°C/29°C). Exposed to one color–temperature combination, participants evaluated their thermal, visual, and overall perception, whereas their physiological responses (heart rate, skin conductance, and skin temperature) were continuously measured. Results Daylight color significantly affected thermal perception, whereas no significant effects of temperature on visual perception were found. Acceptability of the workspace was affected by both color and temperature. Cross-modal effects from either daylight color or temperature levels on physiological responses were not observed. Conclusion In the VR setting, the orange daylight led to warmer thermal perception in (close-to-) comfortable temperatures, resulting in a color-induced thermal perception and indicating that orange glazing should be used with caution in a slightly warm environment. Application Findings can be applied to the design of buildings using new glazing technologies with saturated colors, such as transparent photovoltaics. Despite some limitations, the hybrid environment is suggested as a promising experimental tool for future studies on indoor factor interactions.


Published in:
Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 001872081989238
Year:
Jan 13 2020
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 Record created 2020-01-15, last modified 2020-10-27

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