Dimensions of personality in the responses to luminous ambiences

In this multidisciplinary work, we propose a practical framework to study the variability of subjective responses to identical luminous ambiences (atmosphere). We focus on the influence of personality dimensions.

Architects build spaces for which they define functional characteristics and an esthetical concept, while considering the quality of ambiences. The success of a building depends on the subjective perceptions and the behavioural responses of users regarding these functionalities and ambiences. In most works on ambiences, the user is generally considered as an « average user » (mister anybody). The importance and variability of the subjective character of responses has often been mentioned. However, we still do not have effective indicators on the relationship between personalities and the sensations of comfort and pleasure in a luminous ambience.

The purpose of this work is therefore to study the relationship between the perceptivo-cognitive handling of luminance and chromaticities and the way social spaces are occupied and used depending on their luminous ambience.
We study the behaviour of subjects in a laboratory and on sites (in rest areas). At the same time, we study the luminous ambiences in these areas. We obtain indicators on subjects:

  • 1) by measuring perceptive sensitivity to luminous stimuli (ERP method, in laboratory) with an electroencephalogram on 48 people in order to detect high and low level sensation seekers according to their sensations of pleasure
  • 2) by observing the behaviour of the same subjects in rest areas and by discussing with them with a questionnaire.

We obtain indicators on existing luminous ambiences (with natural light and artificial light to complement it) in rest areas by measuring luminance, illuminance and chromaticities on opaque and transparent envelopes in these areas.
We then greatly modify luminous ambiences in these areas (by partially covering windows and by modifying artificial light). We then repeat the observations with the same kind of subjects.

Dimensions of personality in the responses to luminous ambiences