Henk Staats

Henk Staats
Leiden University | LEI · Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

PhD

About

101
Publications
61,889
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Introduction
Henk Staats is associated with the Department of Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University. His research interests include environmental preferences, psychological restoration, and the analysis and change of pro-environmental behavior. He cooperates with other disciplines to research approaches that increase sustainability, biodiversity, scenic beauty, and well-being. He is former editor of Environment and Behavior and editor in chief of IAPS Bulletin

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
Changing the locations of trashcans in parks may affect littering. Perception of animals' eyes watching visitors may do the same. Interventions applying these strategies showed that especially the combination of strategies was beneficial in reducing litter. See: https://spsp.org/news-center/character-context-blog/trash-cans-eyes-and-littering
Article
Considering the growing need to protect nature and acknowledging that not everyone has intrinsic desires to do so, what happens when social, community-based motives are seen to align with pro-environmental behavior? Specifically, the hypothesis addressed in this study is that individuals engage in actions to protect the natural environment at least...
Article
In this paper we test two approaches to reduce littering in urban parks that potentially reinforce each other: Relocating waste receptacles and the presence of watching eyes. Moving waste receptacles from the interior to the exits of a park makes waste collection more efficient, but can have two opposing effects: Decreased littering because of grea...
Article
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Background: Knowledge of determinants that influence antibiotic prescription behaviour (APB) is essential for the successful implementation of antimicrobial stewardship interventions. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is an established model that describes how cognitions drive human behaviour. Objectives: The objective of this study was to i...
Article
Pro-environmental behavioral patterns are influenced by relevant others’actions and expectations. Studies about the intergenerational transmission of environmentalism have demonstrated that parents play a major role in their children’s pro-environmental actions. However, little is known about how other social agents may shape youth’s environmentali...
Article
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According to theories of interpersonal distance people choose to position themselves in relation to nearby others in a way that optimizes intimacy and privacy. In two studies we investigated the influence of intimacy and privacy on seating behavior in a café (coffee house) setting. In Study 1 (N = 71) we manipulated two aspects of intimacy (eye con...
Article
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Environmental strategies of affect regulation refer to the use of natural and urban socio-physical settings in the service of regulation. We investigated the perceived use and efficacy of environmental strategies for regulation of general affect and sadness, considering them in relation to other affect regulation strategies and to subjective well-b...
Chapter
Within the field of environmental psychology, a theoretical perspective on the health effects of nature has developed. This chapter begins with a discussion of theories on scenic beauty and environmental preference as a backdrop for understanding which environments are benign for human health and well-being. It then reports on theories on the resto...
Chapter
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Citizen’s perceptions of urban space can improve knowledge about environmental perception and help urban governments to develop policy. This chapter presents the WeSense platform for social sensing, consisting of the iPhone app and a website that stores and presents the data . The app allows citizens to record and share their experiences with the u...
Article
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This article offers an overview of what has been done until now on restorative research with children and opens up new inquires for future research. Most of the work has studied children's exposure to nature and the restorative benefits this contact provides, focusing on the renewal of children's psychological resources. The paper begins with an in...
Article
Research on psychological restoration has mainly focused on how exposure to certain physical characteristics of the environment leads to restorative benefits. However, restorative processes are inherently relational, and more attention should be paid to qualities of human-environment transactions in restorative experiences. We developed and tested...
Chapter
The vast majority of people live in urbanized areas. These offer numerous advantages, such as access to a great variety of entertainment and cultural events, services such as educational and medical centers, and opportunities for mixing with different kinds of people in lively public places. Urbanized areas also challenge residents, however, with p...
Article
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Objectives: Given the need for knowledge on the restorative potential of urban settings, we sought to estimate the effects of personal and contextual factors on preferences and restoration likelihood assessments for different urban activities-in-environments. We also sought to study the generality of these effects across different countries. Meth...
Article
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This study focuses on energy saving in an office environment. We developed and tested an intervention that contained both the administration of feedback as well as commitment making: Two techniques that are often described in the literature as successful, especially when combined. Using a sample of 146 employees, we tested the interventions’ effect...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Restorative value of a forest walk while encountering strangers
Conference Paper
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The type and range of tasks that knowledge workers conduct has received considerable attention by a myriad of research domains over the last century. However, the relative value of various typical workspace types for performing a variety of typical work tasks has received relatively scant research attention. In addition, existing research indicates...
Article
Contrary to natural environments used for leisure, where restorative quality is almost a given, urban environments have to be carefully designed to be able to allow restorative experiences. This applies to both the large scale environment as well as the micro-level of interior design. This presentation will focus on one type of urban environment: t...
Article
The relationship between spending time in nature and behaving in an ecological manner seems to be contingent on various factors. This cross-sectional study evaluates the association of Frequency of Contact with Nature (FCN) on children’s Environmental Attitudes (EA) and self-reported Ecological Behaviors (EB) considering three different types of da...
Chapter
According to the restorative environments framework, after emotional or cognitive stress, solitude and being alone with nature can be considered a desirable state with positive effects. These positive effects include physiological recovery and relaxation, change to positive self-reported emotions, and recovery of the ability for attention-demanding...
Article
The present study evaluates how a stay in a summer holiday camp changes children's willingness to display ecological behaviour and the affective and cognitive factors that may be responsible for this change. The study included two types of nature camps, one with an Environmental Education (EE) program and one without it, with an urban camp without...
Article
Until now the main instrument to counteract the loss of biodiversity and land-scape quality in the European countryside has been agri-environment schemes (AES), which offer short-term payments for performing prescribed environ-mental management behaviors. In our opinion this approach is, in its current set-up, not a sustainable way of enhancing bio...
Chapter
Restorative environment research is flourishing. Widespread appreciation of the concept has been spurred by two influential theories and has led to a substantive body of research. This chapter gives an overview of what has happened in this area. It begins with a description of the two theories, attention restoration theory and the psycho-evolutiona...
Article
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This paper describes the psychological effects ofcity life. Despite the obvious charms and advantages of living in a citM it also has its drawbaeks, Major disadvantages are that living in a city poses more demands on information ptocessing capacity and on dealing wirh social stressors, Tb prevent or alleviate these taxing consequences of city life...
Article
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Commitment making is commonly regarded as an effective way to promote proenvironmental behaviors. The general idea is that when people commit to a certain behavior, they adhere to their commitment, and this produces long-term behavior change. Although this idea seems promising, the results are mixed. In the current article, the authors investigate...
Article
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Background: We aimed to assess moderation of affective and cognitive effects of a brisk walk by urban environmental characteristics and the immediate social context. Methods: We conducted a field experiment with time (pre-walk, post-walk), type of environment (park, street), and social context (alone, with a friend) as within-subjects factors. Twen...
Article
Growing plants and flowers in greenhouses is a commercial activity that imposes a burden on the environment. Recently a system of registration, control, and licensing has been developed by the sector of greenhouse growers in the Netherlands, acknowledged by the state. The current study was executed to understand the achievements of the greenhouse g...
Article
Through nature conservation practices, farmers can strongly enhance nature quality and biodiversity in rural areas. In this paper, the social psychological underpinnings of farmers' nature conservation practices are investigated using the Theory of Planned Behavior, to which the concepts of self-identity and personal norms were added. A distinction...
Article
This study investigates the impact of a refurbishment of two communal spaces —lobby and recreation room— of a care home in the Netherlands on residents’ subjective well-being. The refurbishments aimed to improve the aesthetic appearance of both spaces and to offer residents more possibilities for controlled interaction. Data were collected by means...
Article
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This study extends research on psychological restoration by encompassing a broad set of restorative situations available to urban residents. Preferences are assessed for mundane restorative situations comprising leisure activity, setting, and social context, given different levels of attentional fatigue. Attentional fatigue, activity-setting, and s...
Article
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By adopting nature conservation practices, farmers can enhance the environmental quality and biodiversity of their land. In this exploratory study, a behavioral intervention that focused on improving Dutch farmers' nature conservation practices was developed and tested. This intervention was based on insights derived from social psychology and comb...
Article
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By adopting nature conservation practices, farmers can enhance the environmental quality and biodiversity of their land. In this exploratory study, a behavioral intervention that focused on improving Dutch farmers' nature conservation practices was developed and tested. This intervention was based on insights derived from social psychology and comb...
Article
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Farmers are the key players when it comes to the enhancement of farmland biodiversity. In this study, a benchmark system that focuses on improving farmers’ nature conservation was developed and tested among Dutch arable farmers in different social settings. The results show that especially tailored information combined with public commitment making...
Article
Research shows that public commitment making helps promote pro-environmental behavior. However, not everyone may be willing to make such commitments. Therefore, it is important to investigate the conditions under which commitment making is likely to occur. We expected dispositional trust and situational expectations to determine the willingness to...
Article
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This article reports on the restorative effects of the physical environment, the underlying theories, and empirical support. Traditionally, restorative effects have been attributed to natural environments, and these effects seem rather solid. People suffering from stress or attention fatigue recover better in natural than in urban environments. The...
Article
Meadow bird protection is considered important in many Dutch agricultural areas. Consequentially, the current decline in breeding pairs receives much attention. Previous research has focused on the ecology of the species and effects of agri-environment schemes. However, an important aspect - the attitudes of farmers who actually participate in sche...
Article
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Ondanks dat de weidevogelbescherming voor het overgrote deel plaatsvindt op het terrein van boeren zijn er maar weinig studies die hun motivatie, wensen en denkwijzen behandelen. Hier presenteert CML enkele inzichten op basis van een enqu6ete onder 145 boeren verspreid over Nederland. Bij dit onderzoek zijn alleen boeren betrokken die daadwerkelijk...
Article
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Studies that use the norm activation theory (Schwartz, 1977) to explain pro-environmental behavior often focus on personal norms and on two situational activators, i.e., awareness of need and situational responsibility (e.g., Vining & Ebreo, 1992). The theory's other situational activators, efficacy and ability, and its personality trait activators...
Article
Urbanicity presents a challenge for the pursuit of sustainability. High settlement density may offer some environmental, economic, and social advantages, but it can impose psychological demands that people find excessive. These demands of urban life have stimulated a desire for contact with nature through suburban residence, leading to planning and...
Article
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Ontwerpers kunnen een bescheiden, maar wezenlijke bijdrage leveren aan sociale veiligheid in de woonomgeving. Aan beleidsmakers en opdrachtgevers de keuze om deze ontwerpmogelijkheden ook daadwerkelijk in te zetten. State-of-the-Art onderzoek laat zien dat de fysieke woonomgeving drie aanknopingspunten biedt: preventie van criminaliteit en ongewens...
Article
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Environmental preferences vary with the environments evaluated and the people who evaluated them. When research has considered the explanatory power of person variables, it has focused on traits or demographic characteristics. Little research has considered how environmental preferences vary with regularly occurring psychological states, such as at...
Article
The value of personal norms (Schwartz, 1977) for proenvironmental behavior has been demonstrated in previous studies (e.g., Vining & Ebreo, 1992), but not in addition to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen & Madden, 1986). In the present study, this combination was investigated by means of a mail survey among a sample of 305 Dutch citizens who we...
Technical Report
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Deze literatuurstudie had als doel een overzicht te geven van onderzoek naar de aard en achtergronden van sociale veiligheid voor zover deze beïnvloed worden door de fysieke kenmerken van woning en woonomgeving. In de analyse is de beleving van sociale veiligheid het uiteindelijk te verklaren verschijnsel. Uitgaande van de kenmerken van woning en w...
Article
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Why do people so commonly prefer natural scenes over urban scenes? Answers to this question have implications for the development and application of research on environmental aesthetics. In a series of three experiments, we studied how the need for and the likelihood of psychological restoration affected preference for a forest versus an urban cent...
Article
We tested propositions about the influences of social context and need for psychological restoration on preferences for natural and urban environments. We framed preference in terms of (1) beliefs about the likelihood of restoration during a walk in each type of environment and (2) the evaluation of restoration given differing restoration needs. Im...
Article
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Interventions for voluntary proenvironmental behavior change usually target a limited number of behaviors and have difficulties in achieving durable change. The EcoTeam Program (ETP) is an intervention package that aims to overcome these flaws. Through a combination of information, feedback, and social interaction in a group—the EcoTeam—participant...
Article
Preferences for natural and urban environments can be framed in terms of (1) beliefs about the likelihood of psychological restoration during a walk in each type of environment and (2) the evaluation of restoration given differing restoration needs. We conducted an experiment to test hypotheses about restoration as a basis for environmental prefere...
Article
Full-text available
Workshop managers in garages (N = 153) received a message by mail with recommendations on how their subordinates should behave to reduce oil pollution of wastewater. The recommendations were either tailored or not tailored to the current behavior routines in each specific workshop. Tailored messages resulted in more accurate knowledge (assessed 1 w...
Article
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Informational interventions were employed to promote two behaviors relevant for efficient heating of individual offices in a large office building. In two successive winter seasons, interventions were applied during 4-week periods. Short-term effects were assessed weekly, and long-term effects were assessed 1 year after each of the two intervention...
Article
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Predictions derived from three models of the relations between cognitive processing of and preference responses to outdoor scenes were examined. Twelve scene types were identified, ranging from the inner city to large-scale natural environments found in the Sydney region of Australia, the Padua region of northern Italy, and the Netherlands. In two...
Article
Withdrawal of land from agricultural production is creating possibilities for reafforestation in several areas of Europe. Reafforestation can serve recreational as well as ecological goals. The present study considers the effects of two ecologically significant forest design characteristics, accessibility and vegetation density, on mood, an outcome...
Article
The present study evaluates a mass media public information campaign regarding the greenhouse effect, designed by the Dutch Ministry of the Environment. During more than two months, the mass media (national television, national newspapers, billboards) were employed intensively to make the public aware of the nature and causes of the greenhouse effe...
Article
Although there are sufficient technical means for preventing waste water from becoming seriously polluted, in practice the implementation of preventive measures lags far behind the possibilities. Many reasons can be suggested for this, such as ignorance and economic uncertainties, but very little research, if any, has been carried out into the way...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this report the results are presented of a two-year study on the effectiveness of the Eco Team Program, an action program to improve pro-environmental behavior in the household. In a longitudinal design changes in household behavior and their psychological backgrounds have been investigated, as well as the quantitative savings of environmental r...