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Light as a positive situational cue at work: Satisfaction with light relates to judgements of other's warmth and competence

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Workplace illumination is known to impact mood, performance and decision-making. Based on the idea that positive feelings associated with light might influence social judgements in workplaces, we propose that satisfaction with light as a specific affective response to light would lead to positive judgements of other individuals. In a laboratory experiment (N = 164), participants assessed their satisfaction with light and rated other person’s faces on warmth and competence. Results showed that satisfaction with light positively influenced judgement of others. We replicated the positive relation between satisfaction with light and social judgements in a field study with employees (N = 176). These findings highlight the importance of satisfaction with light for social judgement in workplaces. We discuss theoretical contributions and practical implications concerning the design of settings involving the evaluation of other individuals.

Practitioner Summary: The design of work settings where the evaluation of others takes place is an important topic. A laboratory experiment and a field study demonstrate that satisfaction with workplace illumination influences judgements of others. The results provide interesting possibilities for the design of work settings that involve the evaluation of others.

Abbreviations: ANOVA: Analysis of Variance; ANSI: American National Standards Institute; C: celsius; CI: confidence interval; Cm: centimeter; EN 12464 Lighting of indoor workplaces, English version; IESNA-RP: illuminating engineering society of North America, Recommended Practice; ISO: International Organization for Standardization; K: kelvin; Lx: lux; Min: minutes; PANAS: positive affect and negative affect scale; Ra: colour rendering index; SD: standard deviation; SE: standard error; WMA: World Medical Association
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Keywords: Light; competence; satisfaction with light; social judgement; warmth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

Publication date: August 3, 2019

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