Stephen Kaplan
In memory of

Stephen Kaplan
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Psychology

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89
Publications
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21,474
Citations

Publications

Publications (89)
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
Full-text available
This study aimed to explore whether walking in nature may be beneficial for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). Healthy adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after nature walks, but it was unclear whether those same benefits would be achieved in a depressed sample as walking alone in nature might induce rumination, thereby wo...
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...
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
Research on executive functioning and on self-regulation have each identified a critical resource that is central to that domain and is susceptible to depletion. In addition, studies have shown that self-regulation tasks and executive-functioning tasks interact with each other, suggesting that they may share resources. Other research has focused sp...
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
Full-text available
We compare the restorative effects on cognitive functioning of interactions with natural versus urban environments. Attention restoration theory (ART) provides an analysis of the kinds of environments that lead to improvements in directed-attention abilities. Nature, which is filled with intriguing stimuli, modestly grabs attention in a bottom-up f...
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
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
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the modern world important and far-reaching decisions are often made on grounds that somehow seem inadequate or tangential to the core issues. Expediency, unsupported beliefs and short-term economic considerations frequently play a disproportionately large role, often with disastrous consequences for people and the environment. A striking contra...
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
Full-text available
Rachlin's thought-provoking analysis could be strengthened by greater openness to evolutionary interpretation and the use of the directed attention concept as a component of self-control. His contribution to the understanding of prosocial behavior would also benefit from abandoning the traditional (and excessively restrictive) definition of altruis...
Article
Full-text available
The patterns of living, planning, and resource utilization as practiced in Western countries for decades are not sustainable; change of some sort is essential. But what changes are appropriate, and, perhaps more important, will people accept them? The small experiment framework provides a strategy for meeting the challenge of change. By encouraging...
Article
Full-text available
Perceptual learning mechanisms derived from Hebb's theory of cell assemblies can generate prototypic representations capable of extending the representational power of TEC (Theory of Event Coding) event codes. The extended capability includes categorization that accommodates “family resemblances” and problem solving that uses cognitive maps.
Article
Author's Note: This article benefited greatly from the many improvements in organization, expression, and content made by Rachel Kaplan, and the many suggestions concerning consistency, clarity, and accuracy made by Terry Hartig. Thanks also to the SESAME group for providing a supportive environment for exploring many of the themes discussed here....
Article
Page's target article makes a good case for the strength of localist models. This can be characterized as an issue of where new information is integrated with respect to existing knowledge structures. We extend the analysis by discussing the dimension of when this integration takes place, the implications, and how they guide us in the creation of c...
Article
This article constitutes a search for a people-oriented approach to encouraging environmentally responsible behavior. It attempts to provide a source of motivations, reduce the corrosive sense of helplessness, and generatesolutions to environmental problems that do not undermine the quality of life of the people who are affected. The altruism-cente...
Article
We propose a way in which Barsalou could strengthen his position and at the same time make a considerable dent in the category/abstraction problem (that he suggests remains unsolved). There exists a class of connectionist models that solves this problem parsimoniously and provides a mechanistic underpinning for the promising high-level architecture...
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
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
Full-text available
Mental models guide people's perceptions, decisions, and behavior regarding environmental problems and other issues. Hence, understanding these models would aid in understanding how people perceive problems, in determining how information may be most effectively shared, and in designing strategies for behavior change. Given this need for assessment...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The necessity of stewardship is well established and was likely always a part of survival on an unpredictable and risky planet. At the same time, getting people to behave in an environmentally responsible fashion has proved to be a difficult problem. While this may seem to be obvious and not particularly helpful, in this simple assertion may be an...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Humans and other natural systems are remarkably adept at extracting spatial information from vision. To better understand this process, it would be useful to know how the visual system can make an initial estimate of where things are in a scene and how they are oriented. Texture is one source of information that the visual system can use for this p...
Article
Amit's efforts to provide stronger theoretical and empirical support for Hebb's cell-assembly concept is admirable, but we have serious reservations about the perspective presented in the target article. For Hebb, the cell assembly was a building block; by contrast, the framework proposed here eschews the need to fit the assembly into a broader pic...
Article
Directed attention plays an important role in human information processing; its fatigue, in turn, has far-reaching consequences. Attention Restoration Theory provides an analysis of the kinds of experiences that lead to recovery from such fatigue. Natural environments turn out to be particularly rich in the characteristics necessary for restorative...
Article
An integrated representation of large-scale space, or cognitive map, colled PLAN, is presented that attempts to address a broader spectrum of issues than has been previously attempted in a single model. Rather than examining way-finding as a process separate from the rest of cognition, one or the fundamental goals of this work is to examine how the...
Article
Museums seem to be ideal environments for a restorative experience. A collection of objects both aesthetic and fascinating would seem appropriate for aiding the recovery of directed attention, and perhaps for reflection as well. Yet, according to anecdotal reports, museums often seem tedious and tiring. The authors explore this apparent paradox bot...
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
Anticipated health outcomes are proposed as a useful guide to environmental decision making. While environmental intangibles have been little studies in this way, there have been numerous studies documenting the impact of psychological variables on health. These psychological variables, in turn, can be shown to be impacted by environmental decision...
Article
Hebb's introduction of the cell assembly concept marks the beginning of modern connectionism, yet its implications remain largely unexplored and its potential unexploited. Lately, however, promising efforts have been made to utilize recurrent connections, suggesting the timeliness of a re-examination of the cell assembly as a key element in a cogni...
Article
Full-text available
In the first section of the article, we examine some recent criticisms of the connectionist enterprise: first, that connectionist models are fundamentally behaviorist in nature (and, therefore, non-cognitive), and second that connectionist models are fundamentally associationist in nature (and, therefore, cognitively weak). We argue that, for a lim...
Article
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150700/1/1989_Lesperance_and_Kaplan_Nonspatial_solution.pdf
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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
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150697/1/1989_Monroe_and_Kaplan_A_few_more_words.pdf
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Full-text available
One of the enduring facts of the human condition is that the earth's resources are finite and its environment fragile. It is also evident that human behavior is rarely based on an appreciation of these facts. While the outlook may be bleak, so are some of the proposed solutions. Reasonable people have suggested that, to survive, an environmentally...
Article
Learning by doing may not be the most effective strategy for teaching environmental problem-solving skills. A survey of Michigan educators indicates that of the teaching strategies listed, case studies and talking about what others do to solve environmental problems are the most important. The implications of building familiarity with environmental...
Article
This chapter considers the contribution of the psychology of perception to the study of landscape aesthetics. It deals with a variety of factors that play a role in human preference for landscapes, such as the need to comprehend one's surroundings, and the concern to learn and be stimulated ("involvement'). The visual environment and three-dimensio...
Article
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150701/1/1987_Kaplan_Associative_learning_and_the_cognitive_map.pdf
Article
Scenes of the outdoor physical environment vary substantially in the extent to which they are preferred. Variables empirically found to predict preference can be analyzed both in terms of their information-processing implications and in terms of their evolutionary significance. Some of these predictors appear to require fairly extensive information...
Article
This paper presents results from the final phase of a ten-year research program dealing with the dynamics and the impacts of wilderness experiences. Although these data are from participants in shorter trips than those reported on previously, questionnaire data indicate that responses to the different trips were similar, and that responses from par...
Article
It is possible to identify two relatively independent and distinct perspectives on what is valuable in the visual landscape. On the one hand there is the procedure for assessing visual quality which is utilized in one form or another by the various American land management agencies. An alternative approach is represented by the scholarly study of l...
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Full-text available
This article deals with the concerns, the predicted rewards and the satisfactions that people who do conserve derive from their conserving behaviors. In order to investigate the factors that playa role in maintaining energy-conserving behavior, interviews were conducted which focused on the satisfactions that are derived from people's everyday purs...
Article
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150740/1/1984_Kaplan_Molar_concepts.pdf
Article
The three papers in this special issue represent an important advance in the effort to understand people's attachment to place. Economic factors do not provide an adequate explanation; it is necessary to seek less tangible influences. There are grounds for looking to the physical setting, and especially the natural environment available to resident...
Article
The patterns of information available in the environment are often ignored in analyses of the fit or congruence between person and environment. By viewing such information patterns (in conjunction with the environmental constraints on behavior and the individual's purposes) as potential sources of incompatibility, it is possible to understand a sub...
Article
Describes the psychological impact of wilderness experiences (WEs), summarizing findings from previous research on actual wilderness-training programs. These programs are designed to enhance the participants' feelings of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, provide survival skills, and develop sensitivity to and awareness of nature. The evaluation o...
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
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...
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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
Argues that the hardship conditions under which man evolved put a high premium on rapid and efficient information handling. Currently maladaptive behavior with respect to overpopulation and environmental decline may be in part the result of an inadequate conception of what the future holds. The missing knowledge is unlikely to be verbal. Substitute...
Article
begins with an analysis of the role of information in human evolution / wayfinding is then introduced as an important activity of early humans with interesting informational properties / discussion of an extensive program of research on human environmental preference will serve as a window on the motivational inclinations that encourage the acquisi...
Article
Volutionary consi.derations, anomalies i.n visual perception, and physiological and anat-omical data provide support for the two-visual system hypothesis. In addition to the well-documented contour-processing system, there is also a largely independent location processing system that codes size, motion, number, and texture, as well as locus. This s...
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
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150719/1/1965_Kaplan_and_Hobart_New_technique_for_recording_skin_resistance.pdf
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https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150718/1/1964_Kaplan_and_Hobart_Versatile_device.pdf
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Using meaningful paired associates as stimuli it has been shown previously that due to the phenomenon of perseverative consolidation high-arousal associates show stronger permanent memory and weaker immediate memory than low-arousal associates. The present experiment was designed to show that this phenomenon is independent of the association values...
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
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/150727/1/1963_Kaplan_Review_of_Brown_et_al.pdf
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This experiment tested the hypothesis that due to the phenomenon of preservative consolidation, a pattern perceived under high arousal should show stronger permanent memory and weaker immediate memory than a pattern accompanied by low arousal. While recording skin resistance as a measure of arsousal, 48 Ss were presented 8 paired associates for lea...
Article
To determine the effect of arousal on memory, individual differences in skin conductance were measured while Ss were studying words in a paired-associates learning task. When the "effects of active consolidation are eliminated by using a long-term (1-week) rather than a short-term (6-min.) recall interval, a strong positive correlation (r = .54) be...
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...