Environ-ments and Human perception
The revolution in the studies on hu-man learning and human behavior has occurred in the last 4-5 decades. Its implication has an important impact on designing human environments. Human reacts and processes their thinking, perception, emotion, or oth-er mental process through environ-ments. Each human differs from one another on how he/she perceives and processes information, and expresses ideas (Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, 2001). All human has unique brain, characteristics, and personalities which result from factors including brain functioning, genetics, environ-ments, one’s potentials, family back-ground, level of education, culture, sensory motors, and perception
(Anuruthwong, 2013). Thus, providing an appropriate environment for each particular circumstance is a challenge for future living.
There are two kinds of environments:
- The physical environment includes colors, shapes, temperature, light, sound, textures, and materials. The physical environment includes buildings, playgrounds, trees, landscaping, and other natural things as well as the way the teacher sets up the classroom, organizes the chairs, pictures on the walls, and organizes input or stimuli.
- The dynamic environment in-cludes the ways parents, teach-ers, and society organize ac-tivities, teach or transfer their knowledge. It also includes the way of asking questions, the rein-forcement or punishment meth-ods used, and all kinds of man-agements (Anuruthwong, 2000).
human processes all input informa-tion through these two kinds of en-vironments with inner learning system: a conscious and a subconscious (unconscious) system. Most of human information processing is conducted under the subconscious system from the beginning of their life through the end of their life. Input-information which is processed under the sub-conscious mind could comes from sensory and non-sensory perception (Maker, & Anuruthwong, 2003).
How physical environment impacts on human behavior under the subcon-scious system?
Handful of research results in the field of special education, applied psychology, clinical psychology, psy-chology with cognitive Neuroscience, or hypnotherapy have helped num-ber of patients. The new knowledge has been adopted into various types of business, school, and home de-sign. These studies indicated that the combination of colors, sounds, lights, smells, and textiles could make sig-nificant change in human behavior. Most people like primary colors (red, blue, and yellow). Eyes-perception of children and adult are different. Dif-ferent kind of light and colors has an impact on our feeling, and thinking. (Anuruthwong, 2012). For example:
Research in the field of color therapy has provided useful information in creating an appropriate environment for people.
We may know the effect of light in-tensity on plants photosynthesis. It has relationship with leaf anatomy. But we may not realize that light in-tensity has a direct effect on human’s emotion, human, and our health. Each type of skin reacts and decodes light intensity differently. There are six types of skin colors from a very dark to a very fair skin. Each type decodes energy from light in a dif-ferent way. Human also has system like plant photosynthesis. We can synthesize some kind of vitamin from light. On the other hand, strong direct light can harm people with fair skin, so sun protection is important for people who have fair skin. In general, we all need minimum amount of light each day. People who like to live and be in a dark or dim light usually has depression syndrome. Thus, dim light is not appropriate in school environ-ment, home, factory, and office build-ing.
Most people enjoy listening to music without being aware of its impact. In fact, music produces mental and physical effects. Different types of voice or music can slow down or increase and equalize brain waves. For instance, sound of dentist’s drill, or rock music may increase the fre-quency of brain waves, while listening to lullaby music can increase a larger brain waves. Researches in a field of music therapy, and studies found various types of effect of sound and healing, sound and developing intelli-gence, sound and spirit. Over centu-ries, healing systems by using music along with philosophy have evolved in Far East Indian, traditional Chinese medicine, Recently, music therapy is wildly used around the world.
Moreover, many studies indicated that the more stimulation human receives through music, dance, movement, arts, the more intelligent he/she will turn out (Campbell, 1997. P.179). Results from studies found that particular types of music have differ-ent impact on human learning and human emotion. The application of the research studies has been used for healing and increasing students learning. For example, the “Mozart ef-fect” really works with many western people for relaxation. However, it may not work well with people in different culture.
In sum, the new knowledge, especial-ly studies on brain and human learn-ing, have made significant change
in designing an appropriate environ-ment. The effect of different types of colors, music, smell, and textiles could make significant change in hu-man emotion, thinking, intelligence, or behavior. Style and preference may not be the first factor for designing in the future as it was before, needs of the client will be first priority to use it as a framework for designing.
Anuruthwong, U. (2000) The exploring Center. Paper presented at the Asia- Pacific Federation of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. Beijing, China.
Anuruthwong, U. (2012). Raising a Genius Book -2. “Strategies to Bring up Your Kids to be Brighter”(11th Ed.)
Bangkok: Igniting International Co.
Anuruthwong, U. (2013). Handbook for Teacher: Body, Mind, Brain, and Human Learning. Bangkok, Igniting
Campbell, D. (1997). The Mozart Effect. New York: Avon Book. p.179.
Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, (2001). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, experience, and School. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press.
Maker, & Anuruthwong, (2003, July).
Prism of Learning. Paper presented at the World Conference on Gifted and Talented Children. Sidney, Australia.