Two experiments investigated the effect of indoor lighting on cognitive performance via mood. Experiment 1 varied two lighting parameters in a factorial, between-subject design: two illuminance levels (dim; 300 lx vs bright; 1500 lx) by two colour temperatures (‘warm’ white; 3000K vs ‘cool’ white; 4000K) at high CRI (Colour Rendering Index; 95). In experiment 2 the parameters of lighting were identical to the first experiment, except for the low CRI (CRI; 55). In both experiments gender was introduced as an additional grouping factor. Results in experiment 1 showed that a colour temperature which induced the least negative mood enhanced the performance in the long-term memory and problem-solving tasks, in both genders. In experiment 2, the combination of colour temperature and illuminance that best preserved the positive mood in one gender enhanced this gender's performance in the problem-solving and free recall tasks. Thus, subjects' mood valences and their cognitive performances varied significantly with the genders' emotionally different reactions to the indoor lighting. This suggests, in practice, that the criteria for good indoor lighting may be revised, taking into account females' and males' emotional and cognitive responses as well.
Journal of Environmental Psychology – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 1995
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