The WXO Research Library

  • This page contains evidence-baseed research that will help you design and deliver better experiences.
    • Research from around the world, from Tokyo to Helsinki to Los Angeles
    • Research from a wide variety of experience sectors
  • If you’re looking for books, click here for the WXO Book library.

Our intention is to build a directory, so you can search by keyword, topic etc. At present, this is more like an index, arranged alphabetically by keyword. We hope you find it useful. If you have come across, or published, research that would help experience designers and stagers, please let us know.


Gal Zauberman, Rebecca K. Ratner and B. Kyu Kim (2008) ‘Memories as Assets: Strategic Memory Protection in Choice over Time.’ Journal Of Consumer Research,Inc. Vol. 35, pp. 715-728.

Carey Morewedge, ‘Utility: Anticipated, Experienced, and Remembered’. In G. Keren and G. Wu (Eds.), Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making (pp. 295-330) (Malden, MA: Blackwell Press, 2016).

Martha Roberts, ‘The joy of anticipation’, Psychologies, 8 April 2014.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (New York: Penguin, 2011).

Biophilia, also see Phytoncides

Wilson, E.O., 1993. Biophilia and the conservation ethic. In: Kellert, S.R., Wilson, E.O. (Eds.), The Biophilia Hypothesis. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp. 31–41. 

MacKerron, George and Mourato, Susana (2013) ‘Happiness is greater in natural environments’. Global Environmental Change 23(5):992–1000. October 2013.

Williams, F. (2017) ‘To Fight the Winter Blues, Try a Dose of Nature.’ The Wall Street Journal. January 27, 2017

Christopher J. Gidlow, Marc V. Jones, Gemma Hurst, Daniel Masterson,David Clark-Carter, Mika P. Tarvainen, Graham Smith, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen (2016) ‘Where to put your best foot forward: Psycho-physiological responses to walking in natural and urban environments.’ Journal Of Environmental Psychology 45, pp. 22-29.

Terry Hartig, Gary W. Evans, Larry D. Jamner, Deborah S. Davis and Tommy Garling (2003) ‘Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology 23, pp. 109–123.

Charles M. Tipton (2014) ‘The history of “Exercise Is Medicine” in ancient civilizations.’ Adv Physiol Educ. 38(2), pp. 109–117.

Liisa Tyrväinen, Ann Ojala, Kalevi Korpela, Timo Lanki , Yuko Tsunetsugu and Takahide Kagawa ‘The influence of urban green environments on stress relief measures: A field experiment.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology, pp. 1-9.

Gregory N. Bratman, Gretchen C. Daily, Benjamin J. Levy and James J. Gross (2015) ‘The benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition.’ Landscape and Urban Planning 138, pp. 41-50.

Alison Greenwood, Birgitta Gatersleben (2016) ‘Let’s go outside! Environmental restoration amongst adolescents and the impact of friends and phones.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology, pp. 131-139.

Mathew P. White, Sabine Pahl, Katherine Ashbullby , Stephen Herbert and Michael H. Depledge (2013) ‘Feelings of restoration from recent nature visits.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology 35. pp. 40-51.

Thomas R. Herzog, Colleen, P. Maguire and Mary B. Nebel (2003) ‘Assessing the restorative components of environments.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology 23. pp. 159-170.

Anette Kjellgren, Hanne Buhrkall (2010) ‘A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment.’ Journal of Environmental Psychology. pp. 464-472.

Agnes E. Van den Berg, Anna Jorgensen, Edward R. Wilson (2014) ‘Evaluating restoration in urban green spaces:Does setting type make a difference?.’ Landscape and Urban Planning 127. pp. 173-181.

Breaks, how they can reduce hedonic adaptation

Kennon M. Sheldon and Sonja Lyubomirsky (2012) ‘The Challenge of Staying Happier : Testing the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention Model.’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 38(5), pp. 670–680.

Leif D. Nelson and Tom Meyvis) ‘Interrupted Consumption: Adaption and the Disruption Of Hedonic Experience.’ In particular, this:

‘Seven studies confirm the hypothesis that consumers choose breaks in negative experiences and avoid breaks in positive experiences, despite the finding that these breaks worsen negative experiences and improve positive experiences. A variety of stimuli (e.g., noises, songs, massage chairs) demonstrate that breaks disrupt hedonic adaptation and intensify the subsequent experience.’


Neal Lathia, Gillian M. Sandstrom, Cecilia Mascolo, Peter J. Rentfrow Happier (2017) ‘People Live More Active Lives: Using Smartphones to Link Happiness and Physical Activity.’ Plos One, pp. 1-13.
When these researchers at the University of Cambridge used smartphones to measure happiness and activity levels in 10,000 people, they found that any sort of physical activity, like getting up every now and then to get a cup of tea or walk the dog, can have a positive effect.

Eric S. Kim, Laura D. Kubzansky, Jackie Soo, Julia K. Boehm, ‘Maintaining Healthy Behavior: a Prospective Study of Psychological Well-Being and Physical Activity’. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. June 2017, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 337–347
After this eleven-year study at Harvard University, the researchers decided that exercise and happiness just go hand in hand or, as they wrote in more scientific language, that there is a ‘bidirectional feedback loop and upward spiral’ between happiness and exercise.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 2008).

Gifts, experiential

Chan, C and Mogilner, C (2017) ‘Experiential Gifts Foster Stronger Social Relationships Than Material Gifts.’ Journal of Consumer Research,.Vol. 43  pp. 913-931.

Cindy Chan and Cassie Mogilner (2013) ‘Experiential Gifts Are More Socially Connecting than Material Gifts.’ Journal of Consumer Research. pp.  1-52.

Happiness, research showing that experiences are better than aterial goods at making people happy  

Thomas Gilovich , Amit Kumar and Lily Jampol (2014) ‘A wonderful life: experiential consumption and the pursuit of happiness.’ Journal of Consumer Psychology. Pp.1-14.

Thomas Gilovich , Amit Kumar (2014) ‘We’ll Always Have Paris: The Hedonic Payoff from Experiential and Material Investments.’ Pp. 1-41.

Amit Kumar, Thomas C. Mann, and Thomas D. Gilovich (2014) ,”Questioning the “I” in Experience: Experiential Purchases Foster Social Connection”, in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 42, eds. June Cotte and Stacy Wood, Duluth, MN: Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 101-105.

Amit Kumar, Thomas Mann, and Thomas Gilovich, ‘The Aptly Buried “I” in Experience: Experiential Purchases Foster Social Connection’ (submitted for publication, 2016).

Jesse Walker and Amit Kumar, ‘Cultivating Gratitude and Giving Through Experiential Consumption’, Emotion, 2016, Vol. 16, No. 8, 1126 –1136, 1528-3542.

Travis Carter and Thomas Gilovich, “The Relative Relativity of Material and Experiential Purchases”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 98, No. 1, 2010.

Travis Carter and Thomas Gilovich, “I Am What I Do, not What I Have: The Centrality of Experiential Purchases to the Self-Concept”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 102, No. 6, 2012.

Happiness, types of

Cassie Mogilner, Sepandar D. Kamvar and Jennifer Aaker (2010) ‘The Shifting Meaning of Happiness.’ Social Psychological and Personality Science, pp. 395-402.

Jennifer Aaker, and Sepandar D. Kamvar (2012) ‘How Happiness Affects Choice.’ Journal of Consumer Research,Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 429-443.

Materialism, problems with

Tim Kasser, The High Price of Materialism, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2002) for how materialistic people are not pro-social.

Tim Kasser, ‘Materialistic Values and Goals’. Annual Review of Psychology 2016, 67:1, pp. 489-514.

Tim Kasser et al., “Materialistic Values: Their Causes and Consequences”, in Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a Materialistic World, eds. Tim Kasser and Allen D Kramer (Washington: American Psychological Association, 2004).

One of the problems with materialism is that poorer people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income trying to keep up with the arms race of materialistic consumerism.

Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington and Jessica Rea (2017) ‘ How poverty affects people’s decision-making processes.’ Joseph Rowntree Foundation. pp. 1-79.

Philip J. Mazzocco, Derek D. Rucker, Adam D. Galinsky and Eric T. Anderson (2012) ‘Direct and vicarious conspicuous consumption: Identification with low-status groups increases the desire for high-status goods.’ Journal of Consumer Psychology, pp. 520-528.

Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky (2008) ‘Desire to Acquire: Powerlessness and Compensatory Consumption.’ Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 257-267.

Nailya Ordabayeva and Pierre Chandon (2011) ‘Getting Ahead of the Joneses: When Equality Increases Conspicuous Consumption among Bottom-Tier Consumers.’ Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 27-41.

Jia Wei Zhang, Ryan T Howell and Colleen J Howell (2014) ‘Living in wealthy neighborhoods increases material desires and maladaptive consumption.’ Journal of Consumer Culture, pp. 1-20.

Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky (2009) ‘Conspicuous consumption versus utilitarian ideals: How different levels of power shape consumer behavior.’ Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. pp. 549-555. In particular this:
‘the powerless prefer visible or conspicuous consumption that signals status to others.’

Marsha L. Richins and Lan Nguyen Chaplin (2015) ‘Material Parenting: How the Use of Goods in Parenting Fosters Materialism in the Next Generation.’ Journal Of Consumer Research, Vol. 41,  pp. 1333-1357.


Qing Li et al, ‘Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function’. International Journal of Immunopathology & Pharmacology. 2009 Oct-Dec;22(4):951-9.

Qing Li, ‘Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function’. Environmental Health And Preventive Medicine. 2010 Jan; 15(1): 9–17.

Wellbeing, see Happiness

Ordinary experiences, the value of

Amit Bhattacharjee and Cassie Mogilner (2014) ‘Happiness from ordinary and extraordinary experiences.’ Vol. 41.2014/15, 1, pp. 1-17.

Others, doing things for them

Cassie Mogilner, Zoë Chance, and Michael Norton (2012) ‘Giving Time Gives You Time’, Psychological Science, 23(10), pp. 1233–1238. 


Paul E. Jose, Bee T. Lim & Fred B. Bryant (2012) ‘Does savoring increase happiness? A daily diary study’, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7:3, 176-187.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, ‘The How of Happiness: a new approach to getting the life you want (New York: Penguin Books, 2008). In particular, this:

‘In one set of studies, depressed participants were invited to take a few minutes once a day to relish something that they usually hurry through (e.g., eating a meal, taking a shower, finishing the workday, or walking to the subway). When it was over, they were instructed to write down in what ways they had experienced the event differently as well as how that felt compared with the times when they rushed through it. In another study, healthy students and community members were instructed to savor two pleasurable experiences per day, by reflecting on each for two or three minutes and trying to make the pleasure last as long and as intensely as possible. In all these studies those participants prompted to practice savoring regularly showed significant increases in happiness and reductions in depression.’


Amartya Sen, Commodities and capabilities (Oxford: Oxford Universities Press, 1985).

Michael Marmot et al, ‘Health inequalities among British civil servants: the Whitehall II study’. Epidemiology, Vol 337, Issue 8754, pp1387-1393, JUNE 1991

Michael Marmot, Status Syndrome: How Your Place on the Social Gradient Directly Affects Your Health  (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).


Cassie Mogilner and Michael I Norton (2016) ‘Time, money, and happiness.’ Current Opinion in Psychology, pp. 12-16.

Jennifer L. Aaker, Melanie Rudd and Cassie Mogilner (2011) ‘If money does not make you happy, consider time.’ Journal of Consumer Psychology 21, pp. 126-130.

Cassie Mogilner (2010) ‘The Pursuit of Happiness: Time, Money, and Social Connection.’ Psychological Science, pp. 1348-1354

Cassie Mogilner, Hal E. Hershfield and Jennifer Aaker (2018) ‘Rethinking Time: Implications for Well-Being.’ Consumer Psychology Review, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 41-53.

Jane McGonigal, ‘Time: a new affluence’, Institute for the Future, 2011.

Tim Kasser and Kennon M. Sheldon (2009) ‘Time Affluence as a Path toward Personal Happiness and Ethical Business Practice: Empirical Evidence from Four Studies.’ Journal of Business Ethics 84, pp. 243–255.


Luigino Bruni and Luca Stanca (2005) ‘Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Values Surveys.’ University of Milan-Bicocca. June 2005


Colin West, Cassie Mogilner, and Sanford DeVoe, ‘How Vacation Increases Happiness’ (working paper).