Rachel Kaplan

Rachel Kaplan
University of Michigan | U-M · School of Natural Resources and Environment

About

93
Publications
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14,873
Citations

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Soft fascination is a key but underexamined element of Attention Restoration Theory (ART). According to ART, attending to softly fascinating stimuli not only requires little effort but also leaves mental space for reflection. We propose that soft fascination can be characterized as the interaction of both attentional effort and mental bandwidth and...
Article
Neighbourhood satisfaction and use of outdoor green spaces play a significant role in life satisfaction and well-being of urban residents. This study enhances our understanding of these factors by examining specific attributes of the nearby outdoor environment that pertain to planning and design recommendations. A random sample of 434 residents fro...
Article
Neighborhood satisfaction and use patterns in public outdoor spaces are generally viewed as single entities, ignoring their multidimensionality as well as detailed associations between them. Such a general assessment raises questions of the kinds of neighborhood characteristics that accrue to satisfaction, and the variety of environmental affordanc...
Book
We humans are difficult animals. We are the source of environmental degradation, the culprits of resource decline. We are reluctant to trust and easily angered. However, we are also the source of inspiration, compassion, and creative solutions. What brings out the reasonable side of our capacity? The Reasonable Person Model (RPM) offers a simple f...
Chapter
To avoid repetition of the unifying framework across the chapters, this introductory chapter provides an overview of the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) and its unique features. For each of the three domains of informational needs, the chapter explains the key concepts and includes some ways to support those needs. The chapter also offers a road map...
Article
Full-text available
Physical and mental health issues associated with military service persist as challenges for many veterans. This study draws on existing research showing the value of engaging in nature-based recreation to examine the effects of such experiences on veterans specifically. Four organizations, offering 12 different programs each lasting 4–7 d, were in...
Article
While the within-S, or ipsative, galvanic skin response (GSR) categorization has led to an arousal/retention-internal interaction with superior immediate recall of low-arousal items and reminiscence of high-arousal items, a different pattern of results has been reported using a normative GSR categorization. This mode of analysis, based on mean GSRs...
Article
A study by Maltzman, Kantor, and Langdon and one by Yarmey did not obtain the Kleinsmith and Kaplan finding of poor immediate recall of high arousal material. However, on both methodological and theoretical grounds their results are not inconsistent with this previous finding. Important methodological departures from the Kleinsmith and Kaplan desig...
Article
This Special Section features a number of perspectives on the vital role played by natural environments. The three empirical papers, using different approaches and measures, representing diverse populations in different countries, and different kinds of natural settings, all provide evidence for the importance of nature to human well-being. This pa...
Chapter
Information sharing is a necessity among collaborating team members as well as with many constituencies. It is easy to take it for granted, until it fails to work well. The chapter is largely devoted to what leads to more effective and less frustrating information sharing. Rather than a long list of do’s and don’ts—which are not a very effective wa...
Article
“Environment” is often discussed in terms of problems – decline, degradation, pollution,… And “people,” or “anthropogenic factors,” are the acknowledged source of these misfortunes. True, people are all too often the culprits of resource decline and misuse. We humans are admittedly difficult animals. At the same time, however, the “environment” can...
Article
In the process of making environmental decisions, many intangible qualities of considerable psychological significance tend to be ignored. The difficulty of measuring intangibles and the frustration inherent in commonly used methods of obtaining public input are major obstacles to correcting this unfortunate situation. In this paper we suggest a st...
Article
We argue that the environment, broadly construed, has a profound effect on human cognition, action, and well-being. If this is true, then the field of environmental psychology has a far larger potential to aid humanity than is generally realized. We suggest that the field would be more likely to achieve this potential if it viewed environments from...
Article
Opponents of the Scenic Review Ordinance for controlling the visual effects of development in the Lake Tahoe Basin argue that the regulations do not meaningfully reflect general public attitudes. In part to address this concern, Tahoe's federally mandated regional authority commissioned a study to assess public perception of the scenic resource. Th...
Article
The articles published in Landscape and Urban Planning during the past 16 years provide valuable insights into how humans interact with outdoor urban environments. This review paper explores the wide spectrum of human dimensions and issues, or human needs, addressed by 90 of these studies. As a basis for analysis, the major themes tapped by the fin...
Article
Local land use decisions are in the hands of thousands of individuals who lack formal training in planning. The study focuses on three domains of experience that might affect how township planning officials view their tasks and perceive the impacts of planning decisions. Interviews and surveys were conducted in two adjacent Michigan counties, which...
Article
Urban businesses, much like residential places, vary widely in their landscaping practices. Large mowed areas are widespread; native vegetation is far less common. The latter has numerous environmental benefits, but its wilder, rougher texture has not been as widely accepted. Very little of the research on naturalistic vegetation has been carried o...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are often described as vibrant and exciting, fast paced and bustling. Yet cities also have tranquil places. Where might such places be? Perhaps beneath the canopy of a large tree, a vest pocket park, a colorful garden, or along a riverside trail. More than likely, such respites are nature places. They are unlikely to be nature on a grand sca...
Article
This study of the restorative benefits of a retreat experience at a Benedictine monastery was based on questionnaire responses by 521 visitors. Factor analysis of the reasons for coming yielded a four-factor solution that both supports and extends the Attention Restoration Theory (ART) model on which the study was based. Two factors, Being Away and...
Article
In residential communities, "open space,, is generally considered desirable. Yet what is meant by this term differs widely, with far-reaching environmental and social implications. To investigate these differing perceptions, we queried residents of conventional and conservation subdivisions in the same township regarding their nearby natural enviro...
Article
Residential development at the rural fringe, although contributing to many environmental problems, is steadily attracting new homeowners. Among the appeals of living “out in the country” are being closer to “nature” and having “space.” The purpose of this study is to examine what these concepts mean to individuals who decide to live in new commuter...
Article
Sense of community is often mentioned as an asset of new urbanism. The purpose of the study was to explore this claim by comparing Kentlands, a prototypic new urbanist community, with a traditional suburban development near it. Four domains of sense of community were examined, each in terms of 17 distinct aspects of the physical environment, throug...
Chapter
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/148494/1/2004_Social_value_IUFRO.pdf
Article
The Reasonable Person Model is a conceptual framework that links environmental factors with human behavior. People are more reasonable, cooperative, helpful, and satisfied when the environment supports their basic informational needs. The same environmental supports are important factors in enhancing human health. We use this framework to identify...
Article
The open space conservation sub-division offers an alternative to large-lot residential sub-divisions often seen as the culprit when urban sprawl transforms rural landscapes. Homes are sited on somewhat smaller lots, preserving natural areas for the local residents who share ownership of these communal areas and assume responsibility for their mana...
Article
Full-text available
The natural environment benefits greatly from the work of volunteers in environmental stewardship programmes. However, little is known about volunteers' motivations for continued participation in these programmes. This study looked at the relationship between volunteer commitment and motivation, as well as the effect that volunteering has on partic...
Article
Full-text available
Depending on what is in the view, looking out the window may provide numerous opportunities for restoration. Unlike other restorative opportunities, however, window viewing is more frequent and for brief moments at a time. The setting is also experienced from afar rather than while being in it. A study conducted at six low-rise apartment communitie...
Article
Full-text available
The authors compared several Australian subgroups and American college students on their preferences for Australian natural landscapes. Preference correlations across groups were generally high, with the correlations for Australian adults somewhat lower. Factor analysis yielded six perceptual categories: Vegetation, Open Smooth, Open Coarse, Rivers...
Article
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/148487/1/2000_EandB_herzog_et_al.pdf
Article
One potential source of the controversy over forest management in the Pacific Northwest is differences in stakeholders' conceptualizations, or perspectives, on appropriate forest management. This study explores the nature of stakeholders' perspectives and identifies some of the differences and commonalities among them. Study participants included 2...
Article
There seem to be two independent tail-chasing cycles going around in academia these days that might find resolution if somehow they got together. One of the these deals with under-graduate teaching, the kinds of students we teach and what they are trying to tell us when they indiscriminately use the word "relevance." The other deals with the malais...
Article
Full-text available
Some parks, preserves, and other natural areas serve people well; others are disappointing. Successful design and management requires knowledge of both people and environments.With People in Mind explores how to design and manage areas of "everyday nature" -- parks and open spaces, corporate grounds, vacant lots and backyard gardens, fields and for...
Article
Corporate lands offer a vital resource as wildlife habitats. This study examined the potential benefits employees derive from various forms of involvement with the corporate natural environment. Surveys were distributed at two industrial sites (n=245, 92). Despite major differences between these sites, various forms of nature involvement consistent...
Chapter
Environmental planning and economic development depends upon environmental appraisal. The choices of what to assess and what is valued are fundamental to the decisions that are taken. Implicit in these choices are assumptions. The consequences of these assumptions often differentially affect those who make the decisions and those whose environment...
Article
Full-text available
The focus of the series of studies reported here is on the effectiveness of handout maps as wayfinding aids for museum visitors, and on the importance of wayfinding to the quality of museum visitors' experiences. The design of the handout maps that were used in the studies was guided by a series of cognitively based principles that focus on the con...
Article
The well-being of the workforce is clearly a matter of concern to the employer. Such concern translates to considerable costs in the form of fringe benefit packages, health promotion programs, ergonomics, and other ways to reduce absence and enhance health and satisfaction. Despite such efforts, however, one way to address well-being that entails r...
Article
Few studies have examined the potential value of nearby nature for elderly adults. In the current study, elderly residents of two apartment complexes were interviewed about the availability of and the importance of different nearby natural settings. They were also asked how involved they were with various "nature compensations"--indoor activities,...
Article
The perception of landscape style has received little attention. The present study explores this in a cross-cultural context both with respect to the landscapes (Korean, Japanese and Western) and in terms of the individual samples (Korean and Western). Preference ratings of 40 scenes taken in Korea provided the data for category-identifying methods...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines four domains of variables to assess their relative merit in explaining environmental preference. Within each of the domains, between three and seven specific attributes were measured, for a total of 20 predictor variables. The study site includes small forested areas, agricultural land, and fields, with little topographic vari...
Article
Substantial differences have been found between the recreational pursuits of blacks and whites. In the related area of environmental preference, however, agreement generally exists across many cultural groups. None the less, the existence of some discrepant findings suggests that further explorations of black and white preferences for the nearby na...
Article
Although studies of preferences for natural environments across cultures have tended to find rather high agreement, most studies have concentrated on correlational findings. Analyses of actual preference levels and of perceptual categories yield a more complete picture. Western Australian and American student preference ratings of scenes of the Wes...
Article
"Transactional Qualities of Neighborhood Social Networks" (Oxley et al., 1986) provides a thorough analysis of interrelated patterns contributing to neighborhood networks in two seasons. It also provides what appears to be an excellent example of a transactional approach. The authors rightly identify it as a case study. This brief essay raises some...
Article
Full-text available
"Transactional Qualities of Neighborhood Social Networks" (Oxley et al., 1986) provides a thorough analysis of interrelated patterns contributing to neighborhood networks in two seasons. It also provides what appears to be an excellent example of a transactional approach. The authors rightly identify it as a case study. This brief essay raises some...
Article
Systematic approaches to the management of the visual resource tend to be based on categorizations, and on assumptions of what is valued or preferred. Underlying these distinctions is an implicit view of the perception of the environment. The expert's perceptions, however, may be quite different from the perceptions of those who lack specialized tr...
Article
Studied the importance of the nearby natural environment in the context of multiple-family housing by surveying 268 residents at 9 sites with a questionnaire about the kinds of natural areas near their home and the perceived adequacy of these facilities. Findings suggest that the availability and adequacy of nearby natural elements is of far greate...
Article
The stresses and strains of the urban environment are widely acknowledged. The means for recovery, for recuperation, are perhaps less evident. In particular, the role of environmental configurations in this process is often neglected in the measurement of quality of life.The urban natural environment can provide the setting for such restorative exp...
Article
For over a decade, a wilderness outing program in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been the object of continuing research focusing on the impact of an intense nature experience on people's lives. The results discussed here are based on the questionnaires completed by the 49 participants in the last two years of the Program. A consistently striking fi...
Article
Interviews were conducted with 97 Detroit residents living in primarily Black low- and moderate-income areas, in order to assess the preferences of inher city residents for different types of natural areas. The participants rated 26 photographs for preference, and also answered questions about the particular elements that made certain out- door are...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the widely acknowledged importance of energy conservation and the steadily growing volume of research in this area, energy conservation in the institutional context has received little attention. No doubt many strategies and approaches have been applied in a variety of institutions, but these have generally not been based on any systematic...
Article
This article discusses the results of a questionnaire dealing with the degree to which a variety of energy-conserving activities have been adopted. The sample for this study consisted of people whose concern for energy conservation was known to be relatively high, and their responses indicate that many conservation opportunities are being ignored....
Article
Explores ways in which the urban natural environment can contribute to human well-being and considers the motivational bases of people's choices of natural areas for recreational purposes and the psychological functions served by outdoor recreation settings in the urban context. It is noted that, in the US, there has been a growing awareness of urb...
Article
The authors comprised a panel on aesthetic attributes in water resource projects organised by the National Research Council. Their aim was to assess the US Water Resources Council's environmental quality evaluation procedures by designating indicators of aesthetic attributes, and to review alternative procedures. The group found the evaluation proc...
Article
Full-text available
Preferences for unfamiliar urban environments were studied as a function of urban categories, viewing time, and four predictor variables: complexity, coherence, identifiability, and mystery. A nonmetric factor analysis of the preference ratings for the longest viewing-time condition yielded five dimensions: Contemporary Life, Alley/Factory, Urban N...
Article
Full-text available
A survey conducted at the initiation of a parks and recreation department indicated strong satisfaction with a year-old downtown vest-pocket park. The problems noted were few: Traffic flow was the biggest, safety turne out to be of little importance, and planned activities were a source of conflicting feelings. The satisfactions were many: The stro...
Article
Full-text available
The Environmental Preference Questionnaire (EPQ) was developed to assess patterns of satisfaction and preference pertaining to various environmental settings; its focus is not so much on past experience as on current outlook. The 267 teenagers who completed the EPQ in this study also responded to questions relating to facets of self-esteem and reas...
Article
Full-text available
The experience of the urban environment was studied in terms of how it is categorized, what people's preferences are, and the extent to which complexity and familiarity can account for these preferences. College students rated urban scenes on these three variables under three methods of scene presentation: Slides, Label (name and location), and Ima...
Article
Tested the claim that a wilderness survival program increases confidence and self-esteem of participants despite its relatively brief duration. Over a 6-mo period, 10 male participants in such a program responded to a variety of questionnaires twice before embarking on the program (Phases I, II), immediately after it (Phase III), and several months...
Article
Psychological benefits derived from gardening, a leisure activity intimately involved with the natural environment, are examined. Three areas of benefits (tangible outcomes, primary gardening experiences, and sustained interest) were identified and related to the kind of garden, attitudinal, and role variables. (BL)
Article
Full-text available
In order (1) to study the relationship between complexity and preference for slides of the physical environment and (2) to test the hypothesis that the content of slides (in particular, whether nature or urban) will influence preference, independent of the rated complexity, 88 Ss were asked to rate 56 slides, both for preference and for complexity....
Article
Full-text available
It is easily assumed that the urban visual landscape is.a.reaso~able reflec~ion of the Dublic's preferences. By permitting the public to part1c1pate 1n local env1r~nmental decisions however it becomes possible to assess what is preferred and what ~s tolerated for lack ~f choice: A recent project offers some useful insights into these 1SSU~S, both s...
Article
Full-text available
Environment-behavior problems must draw on diverse disciplines and perspectives. For experts with such differing backgrounds to collaborate effectively requires many skills that are rarely included in their training. The paper focuses specifically on the content-specific mental models that are inherent in expertise and on the necessity of sharing s...
Article
Full-text available
An approach to characterizing complex environ-ments is proposed that grows out of the view of research as a continuing process rather than a discrete event. Rather than emphasizing pre-diction as the sole aim of research, this ap-proach places an equal emphasis on understand-ing and on the refinement of measurement as well. In order to maximize the...
Article
DISSERTATION (PH.D.)--THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Dissertation Abstracts International,
Article
Full-text available
This article examines four domains of variables to assess their relative merit in explaining environmental preference. Within each of the domains, between three and seven specific attributes were measured, for a total of 20 predictor variables. The study site includes small forested areas, agricultural land, and fields, with little topographic vari...
Article
The arousal/time interaction obtained in the L. J. Kleinsmith and S. Kaplan (see 37:5, and 38:5) studies apparently can be attenuated by set or motivational variables. A 6-item paired-associate list was presented once to each of 189 undergraduates, who were then tested for recall at varying times (immediate, 6 and 18 min., or 2 days). The high arou...
Article
Full-text available
When single letters were presented for five flashes, with S making a clarity judgment after each exposure, initial potentiation and subsequent satiation effects were found. A processing task and complete prior knowledge led to an increased probability of a “clear” response on the first exposure and to an earlier onset of the satiation effect. The r...
Article
40 MALE SS WERE PRESENTED 24 ITEMS, 1/2 AS WORDS AND 1/2 AS SIMPLE LINE DRAWINGS WITH THE INSTRUCTION TO TRY TO REMEMBER THEM. FREE RECALL WAS TESTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRESENTATION AND 30 MIN. LATER. PICTURE RECALL WAS SIGNIFICANTLY GREATER THAN WORD RECALL (P < .001). MEAN GSRS BASED ON ITEMS PRESENTED AS WORDS PREDICTED BOTH WORD AND PICTURE RECA...
Article
THE CONCEPT OF PERSERVATION WAS EXTENDED TO A MORE NEURAL LEVEL TO INCLUDE PERSISTENCE OF TRACE ACTIVITY, AND A STUDY WAS MADE TO SEARCH FOR THE DIMENSIONS OF TRACE PERSISTENCE. THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED TO IDENTIFY BEHAVIORAL DIFFERENCES OF INDIVIDUAL LEARNING PROCESSES AMONG STUDENTS. THE STUDY DID NOT TAKE THE TRADITIONAL PERSONALITY-MOTIVATION AP...
Article
The level of basal skin resistance is proposed as a measure of motivation. It is relatively simple to obtain and can be measured concurrently with behavior of interest to the experimenter. The technique described requires a grid floor, but the assessment procedure does not affect the organism's state because of the subthreshold measuring current th...
Article
A study was designed to test whether basal resistance level (BRL) would function as a useful measure of the arousal component of motivation in rats. On 4 consecutive days 56 male hooded rats were placed in Skinner boxes for 90 min. On Days 3 and 4 Ss received a 5-sec. shock (0, 4, 5, or 6 ma. constant current) 30 min. after being placed in the box....
Article
6 groups of rats were trained in a simple T maze under different intensities of shock throughout the maze floor. In general, as shock level increased, the number of Ss who did not learn decreased, the number who learned increased to a maximum and then decreased, and the number showing fixation behavior increased. Within each shock level, individual...

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