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Environmental preference and restoration: (How) are they related?

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Abstract

Does the widely documented tendency to prefer natural over built environments owe to the perception of greater restorative potential in natural environments? In the present experimental study we tested the mediating role of restoration in environmental preferences. Participants viewed a frightening movie, and then were shown a video of either a natural or a built environment. We used two examples of each type of environment. Participants’ mood ratings were assessed before and after they viewed the frightening movie, and again after viewing the environmental video. Participants also rated the beauty of the environment shown (to indicate preference) and performed a test of concentration after viewing the environmental video. The results indicate that participants perceived the natural environments as more beautiful than the built environments. In addition, viewing natural environments elicited greater improvement in mood and marginally better concentration than viewing built environments. Mediational analyses revealed that affective restoration accounted for a substantial proportion of the preference for the natural over the built environments. Together, these results help substantiate the adaptive function of people's environmental preferences.

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... A capacidade de se restaurar no uso de espaços com natureza tem sido consistentemente encontrada tanto em adultos (e.g. KORPELA; HARTIG, 1996; VAN DEN BERG; KOOLE; VAN DER WULP, 2003) como em crianças (e.g. KORPELA;KYTTÄ;HARTIG, 2002;TAYLOR;KUO;SULLIVAN, 2001). ...
... Na escala APN foram aqui identificadas três dimensões estruturais, sendo elas: 'adesão estética', 'oportunidades de contato' e 'transformação positiva'. Uma explicação para esses achados pode estar ligada ao papel adaptativo que a preferência teria em inibir ou promover a aproximação a determinado ambiente em função do efeito que esse ambiente pode produzir ( VAN DEN BERG;KOOLE;VEN DER WULP, 2003). O indivíduo avaliaria rapidamente e em maneira automática as propriedades do lugar e o seu potencial para a restauração e o bem-estar; e tenderia a preferir os ambientes que fornecem pistas de que tais benefícios podem ocorrer. ...
... Na escala APN foram aqui identificadas três dimensões estruturais, sendo elas: 'adesão estética', 'oportunidades de contato' e 'transformação positiva'. Uma explicação para esses achados pode estar ligada ao papel adaptativo que a preferência teria em inibir ou promover a aproximação a determinado ambiente em função do efeito que esse ambiente pode produzir ( VAN DEN BERG;KOOLE;VEN DER WULP, 2003). O indivíduo avaliaria rapidamente e em maneira automática as propriedades do lugar e o seu potencial para a restauração e o bem-estar; e tenderia a preferir os ambientes que fornecem pistas de que tais benefícios podem ocorrer. ...
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O estudo objetivou investigar a estrutura interna de duas escalas de atitude parental, originalmente produzidas em língua inglesa e então adequadas ao contexto brasileiro. Da aplicação de questionários online com 105 genitores, propriedades psicométricas dos instrumentos foram investigadas pela análise de consistência interna, de componentes principais e estudo relacional entre as variáveis atitudinais. Na Atitude Parental para com a Natureza, os itens agruparam-se em adesão estética, oportunidades de contato e transformação positiva e, na Atitude Parental para com a Criança na Natureza, em benefícios ao desenvolvimento, riscos à segurança e repercussões desfavoráveis. Os Coeficientes Alfa de Cronbach mostraram-se satisfatórios e, apesar de tipicamente positiva, a atitude parental foi desfavorecida pela percepção de riscos à segurança da criança.
... Inspired by simulated walking (which is often employed in restoration studies [21,47,58,[86][87][88]), we developed a standardized observation procedure-simulated viewing. Simulated viewing refers to the simulated human observing environment by swinging a virtual camera showing approximately 270° of a panoramic picture. ...
... Ethnic and cultural backgrounds may influence environmental preferences [126,127]. Preference and environmental restoration are closely related [34,58,87,[128][129][130][131][132]. Future research should consider the cultural background as a possible moderator to investigate the physio-psychological recovery benefits of natural environments. ...
... However, people may benefit from simulated environments when they cannot access real natural environments (e.g., COVID-19 quarantine or lack of physical mobility). They can use nature substitutes (indoor potted plants) or simulations (e.g., pictures, videos, or virtual reality) to obtain restorative effects [87,139]. Furthermore, the advantage of virtual environments is that they make it easy to avoid uncontrollable disturbance factors in the real environment, such as pedestrians, traffic, and climate. ...
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Previous studies may have overstated the restorative benefits of natural environments by comparing them to low-quality urban environments. Few studies have compared the stress recovery effects across various park settings. Moreover, it is unclear how depressive symptoms affect these benefits. Depressive symptoms may lessen or boost the restorative effects of viewing nature. A total of 125 participants engaged in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) to induce stress and were then randomly assigned to view one of five 10 min video presentations depicting greened streets, lawns, plazas, forests, or watersides. Depressive symptoms experienced over the last month were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The analysis revealed that, while greened streets had a physio-psychological stress-relieving effect, they were not as effective as the four park settings. The skin conductance level (SCL) declined significantly in the forest group’s first and second halves of the recovery period. However, the difference between the four park settings was insignificant at the end of recovery. Subjects viewing the four park conditions (vs. the greened street) reported that perceived stress remained stable as individual depressive symptoms increased; subjects with higher depressive symptoms reported lower perceived stress under lawn conditions. However, the SCL did not show the same trend. Our findings may support the hypothesis that natural interventions may be especially beneficial for people suffering from subclinical depressive symptoms. We also found gender differences in perceived stress and SCL reduction across all five settings, which may be due to the differences in women’s and men’s perceptions and use of restorative environments, or their responses to stressors.
... However, the animal videos in these studies also included a nature element (i.e., nature background). Other researchers found exposure to nature can have beneficial effects (Annerstedt et al., 2013;Beukeboom et al., 2012;van den Berg et al., 2003). Thus, it is unclear whether these positive effects on stress are influenced by the visual representation of the animal or nature. ...
... These findings are consistent with the literature, which has reported the ability of both animals and nature to foster a calming environment and attenuate stress reactivity (Beukeboom et al., 2012;Crump & Derting, 2015;Ein et al., 2018;van den Berg et al., 2003). In the current study, videos of a dog and nature improved subjective wellbeing via increased relaxation and decreased stress. ...
Article
Animal-assisted intervention (AAI) has been used as a means of stress relief in clinical and general settings; however, animals are not always allowed in certain spaces. Adapting AAI to video or virtual mediums could improve accessibility and is temporally relevant given the recent shift to online interventions. The current study explored: (1) whether an active video (dog or nature) watched before a stressor would improve wellbeing more than tranquil videos; (2) whether exposure to a dog video improves wellbeing more than a nature video; and (3) whether exposure to either a dog or nature video improves outcomes more than exposure to a control video. One hundred and seven undergraduates were randomly assigned to watch one of five videos (active dog, tranquil dog, active nature, tranquil nature, and control) for 3 minutes and then complete a 3-minute stress task. Subjective (anxiety, stress, happiness, relaxation, positive affect, and negative affect) and physiological (blood pressure and heart rate) outcomes were collected at baseline, video, stressor, and recovery time points. Results showed that the activity level of the dog in the video did not influence outcomes. However, relative to the control group, the dog-video condition showed decreases in stress from baseline to video and a smaller decrease in stress from stressor to recovery. Additionally, relative to the nature-video condition, the dog-video condition showed a slightly higher increase in happiness scores from baseline to video. Lastly, relative to the control group, the nature-video condition showed increased relaxation scores from baseline to video and a larger decrease in relaxation scores from video to stressor. This research may inform the development of alternate modes of AAIs.
... We developed a standardized observation procedure-simulated viewing-inspired by simulated walking (which is commonly used in restoration studies [24,37,41,[79][80][81]). Simulated viewing is the simulation of a human observing an environment by swinging a virtual camera around, displaying approximately 270° of a panoramic image. ...
... However, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming a regular occurrence, those who cannot go outside may benefit from simulating nature [110]. When people do not have the opportunity to access real natural environments, they can use nature substitutes (potted plants) or simulations (nature pictures, videos, or virtual reality) to obtain restorative effects [81,90]. In particular, immersion in a virtual natural environment has been found to be an effective aid in treating anxiety disorders and a tool for stress management and relaxation [112,113]. ...
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Previous research that compared the restorative effects of natural settings with poor-quality urban settings may have exaggerated the restorative benefits of greenspace. Few studies have been conducted to examine the restorative benefits of green streets and other types of park landscapes on attention and emotion. In addition, it is not clear how negative psychological symptoms (e.g., stress, depression) affect natural’s restorative benefits, especially as the current COVID-19 pandemic has added to people’s psychological burden. In this study, 125 participants were randomly assigned to view one of five videos (green street, lawn, plaza, forest, waterside) for a break after completing an emotion and attention fatigue induction task. Attention function and emotion were measured using the backward digit span test and the Self-Assessment Manikin scale. Stress and depressive symptoms experienced over the last month were measured using the Perceived Stress Scale(PSS-10) and the Patient Health Questionnaire(PHQ-9). Our results indicate that the four park settings showed significant attention function recovery and valence improvement compared to the green streets, while subjects’ arousal changed only over time. Hardscapes (plazas) could provide the same attentional and emotional restorative benefits as natural landscapes (forests, watersides, lawns). In addition, we also found that the mood-improving benefits of natural environments may decrease with increasing depressive symptoms, although chronic stress symptoms did not show the same trend.
... In our work, the observing pattern for the high preference rating is that participants had higher fixation counts. Higher preferences were associated with greater affective restoration [55]. Thus, processing landscapes with higher preference ratings requires greater visual attention; this finding might explain why people recover from stress and replenish their energies by having more fixation counts while viewing landscapes of higher preference. ...
... The lower legibility of the landscape may arouse negative feelings and thus influence an individual's aesthetic preference. People's preferences for the environment are influenced by their perceptions of the environment's potential to provide restoration from stress [55]. Multiple ways of visual contact with nature are important to trigger varying degrees of restorative responses. ...
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The up-close experience of perennial landscapes has been shown to enhance residents’ perception of naturalness in the context of increasing small-scale vegetation landscapes. This study explored how formal aesthetic characteristics were related to landscape perception and whether landscape preference correlated with eye movements. We created a series of photomontages showing perennial combinations that contained different plant forms, degrees of species richness, and plant arrangements and recorded 73 participants’ eye movements during 10 seconds of free viewing in Experiment A and task-oriented viewing in Experiment B and ratings of landscape preference collected through rating scales. We found that the effects of plant form and species richness were significant for gaze behavior, while arrangement showed no significant effect. We also found that landscape preference was positively correlated with fixation count but negatively correlated with mean fixation duration and total fixation duration. Additionally, women had more but shorter fixations than men while viewing these photomontages, and the difference in aesthetic preferences between men and women was not significant. Concerning the different professional background groups, no significant gaze behavior difference between professionals and nonprofessionals was detected, but compared with professionals, nonprofessionals tended to give strongly higher preference ratings. The outcomes shed light on the influence of formal aesthetic characteristics on gaze behavior and advanced the application of eye-tracking technology in perennial landscape studies. Our findings also confirmed the efficiency of vegetation landscapes designed based on public preferences for providing restoration from stress or fatigue.
... Participants viewed all environment videos either sat 46 cm away from an FS Hewlett-Packard computer monitor (57 cm × 34 cm) or using a VR HMD (Oculus Go HMD). A 30-s video of heavy traffic on an FS computer monitor preceded each of the environment videos and acted as a stressor, following similar procedures to earlier research (e.g., Van den Berg et al. [64] ...
... Participants viewed all environment videos either sat 46 cm away from an FS Hewlett-Packard computer monitor (57 cm × 34 cm) or using a VR HMD (Oculus Go HMD). A 30-s video of heavy traffic on an FS computer monitor preceded each of the environment videos and acted as a stressor, following similar procedures to earlier research (e.g., Van den Berg et al. [64]). ...
Article
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Improving the mental health of urban residents is a global public health priority. This study builds on existing work that demonstrates the ability of virtual exposure to restorative environments to improve population mental health. It compares the restorative effects of green, blue and historic environments delivered by both flat screen and immersive virtual reality technology, and triangulates data from psychological, physiological and qualitative sources. Results from the subjective measure analyses showed that exposures to all the experimental videos were associated with self-reported reduced anxiety and improved mood, although the historic environment was associated with a smaller reduction of anxiety (p < 0.01). These results were supported by the qualitative accounts. For two of the electroencephalography (EEG) frequency bands, higher levels of activity were observed for historic environments. In relation to the mode of delivery, the subjective measures did not suggest any effect, while for the EEG analyses there was evidence of a significant effect of technology across three out of four frequency bands. In conclusion, this study adds to the evidence that the benefits of restorative environments can be delivered through virtual exposure and suggests that virtual reality may provide greater levels of immersion than flat screen viewing.
... Connecting to nature has well-established therapeutic benefits. For instance, exercising in the countryside improves mood [9], gardening promotes stress recovery [10], and immersing oneself in nature through activities such as "forest bathing" offers benefits to both mind and body [11] and can promote feelings of awe, wonder, and spiritual well-being [11,12]. Notably, studies have shown that exposure to specific elements of nature (eg, auditory and visual cues) can also be beneficial. ...
... First, we dichotomized the scores as weak (1-4; 23/38, 61%) and strong (5-7; 15/38, 39%) and then trichotomized the scores as weak (1-3; 16/38, 42%), medium (4-5; 13/38, 34%), and strong (6-7; 9/38, 24%). The results of these models were essentially unchanged, except for the P values for the interaction of time and INS on depression, quality of life, and fatigue, which increased above the threshold of P<. 10. Although post hoc tests in these instances remained consistent with the aforementioned results and continued to be strongly statistically significant (ie, P<.001), the statistical justification to report on these tests was diminished without the interaction effect. ...
Article
Background: Connection with nature has well-established physical and psychological benefits. However, women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) are often unable to access nature because of physical limitations, psychological barriers, and treatment demands. Virtual reality (VR) nature experiences offer an alternative means of connecting with nature and may be of particular benefit to patients with cancer who are house- or hospital-bound. Objective: This study aims to explore whether VR nature experiences are associated with physical and psychological benefits for women with MBC who are disconnected with nature. Methods: This secondary analysis of a previous randomized controlled crossover trial recruited participants from the emailing lists of breast cancer support organizations. Participants were provided VR headsets for daily use in their homes for over 3 weeks. In the first week, participants used 1 of 2 VR nature experiences (Ripple or Happy Place) daily, followed by a 1-week washout period, before using the other VR experience every day for the final week. Outcomes assessed changes between baseline and postintervention scores in quality of life (EQ-5D-5L), pain (Brief Pain Inventory Short Form), fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-fatigue), depression (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-depression), anxiety (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-anxiety), and spiritual well-being (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Spiritual Well-being) and investigated whether benefits were greater in participants who were not strongly connected with nature at baseline. Results: A total of 38 women with MBC completed the VR interventions and were included in the analyses. Participants reported significantly less fatigue (P=.001), less depression (P<.001), and greater quality of life (P=.02) following the interventions than at baseline. Women with a weaker connection to nature reported greater fatigue (P=.03), depression (P=.006), and anxiety (P=.001), and poorer spirituality (P=.004) than their strongly connected counterparts. Only those with a weaker baseline connection with nature showed improvements in depression following the intervention (P=.03), with similar trends observed in fatigue (P=.07) and quality of life (P=.10). Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that feeling connected with nature is associated with better physical and psychological status in patients with MBC and that VR nature interventions might be beneficial for this clinical population. Future studies should focus on activities that encourage connection with nature (rather than simply exposure to nature) and investigate the aspects of VR nature interventions that have the greatest therapeutic potential. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12619001480178; https://tinyurl.com/et6z3vac.
... A number of social studies have been carried out which indicate the great importance of this type of solution (along with other elements of green infrastructure) in generally accessible urban spaces [12][13][14]. The studies published so far emphasize the positive impact of water elements in public spaces on human benefits including restoration and stress reduction [15][16][17]. Psychological studies, widely described in the literature, also indicate a large role of natural elements, including those related to blue infrastructure in highly urbanized areas, in shaping the well-being of users [18][19][20]. They are mainly associated with a noticeable improvement in mood and a slight reduction in stress [21]. ...
... The currently described systematics of water elements in public spaces in cities, as described so far, is related to their location and their technical structure [56]. In addition, the listings of these types of facilities focus on health issues and issues related to the resilience of urbanized areas [12,15,16]. The water elements in the urban space are described separately in relation to the behavioral aspects [19,20,22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
When designing public spaces in large cities, a number of functional, communication, compositional, infrastructural, environmental and compositional factors should be taken into account, most of which relate to water elements. The appropriate location and form of water elements significantly affect the attractiveness and strengthening of the identity of places in cities. Fountains, artificial and natural urbanized watercourses, artistic installations and sculptures, as well as nature-based solutions that utilize water designed in public spaces significantly increase the social and aesthetic value of public spaces. The main aim of the presented research is to present a spectrum of solutions for water elements in public spaces of cities. The summary part describes guidelines and recommendations regarding the principles of designing the locations of fountains, watercourses and artistic objects that utilize water in public spaces in cities.
... Both of these may play a role in the mental health benefits obtained from forest recreational experiences. Research has shown that preference and restoration, although each discernible and specific constructs [27], tend to correlate strongly, and that restorative value may serve as the starting point for formation of preference [28][29][30]. Therefore, the design of recreational areas should focus specifically on increasing the restoration potential. ...
Article
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It has long been understood that diversity is a key aspect of what makes a landscape attractive but to what degree of diversity and how is it experienced? Many forest landscapes are generally monotonous in character or are broken up by forest management activities such as clear cutting, which may negatively impact their potential for recreation and psychological well-being benefits. We conducted a virtual reality experiment where people were taken on a trip along a simulated cross country skiing track in an Estonian forest. Participants followed a route at simulated speeds typical of cross-country skiing. The route was long enough to experience several minutes passing through one type of forest landscape with a series of small variations in character followed by several minutes passing through a notably different forest landscape. The restorative experience obtained by the visit was measured periodically in each version of the landscape. Univariate general linear modelling analysis was statistically significant (r2 = 0.651, F(198, 965) = 9.108, p < 0.001) and showed that while respondents preferred less-dense forest in general (B = 0.189, p = 0.001)—an expected result—a comparable amount of positive restorative response could also be attributed to prominent changes in forest character, regardless of the type of forest (B = 0.401, p < 0.001). We hypothesise that respondents were reacting favourably to sudden changes in forest appearance after prolonged exposure to one forest type—that diversity is important in maintaining interest, reducing boredom, and in providing a restorative experience. The implications are, firstly, that a virtual experience can detect restorative effects and, secondly, that recreational trails should be designed to pass through varied landscapes offering continually changing diverse experiences—the impact of which can be tested in the virtual setting because there is control of all variables.
... In addition to forms of physical activity outside the classroom with extended knowledge and in-depth ecological attitudes, it seems that the higher education of the parents of the studied pupils and perhaps the place of residence also seem to be decisive. According to previous observations [84], the industrial environment that does not take into account the harmonious whole of human needs induces deprivation of the need to experience beauty and order. Under these circumstances, identification with an ecologically transformed environment may lead to low self-esteem and malaise. ...
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(1) Background: The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of physical activity outdoors in nature as part of physical education in schools on the level of knowledge and ecological attitudes. (2) Material and methods: A total of 220 students took part in the study, with 103 of them in the treatment group, which usually practiced outdoor physical education classes, and 117 in the control group, which practiced mainly indoor. The project lasted 21 months, covering the last two years of primary school. The authors used the Children’s Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Scale CHEAKS in this study. The authors sought for an answer to the question of whether bringing a young person closer to nature by participating in a greater number of outdoor physical education lessons results in in-depth environmental knowledge. (3) Results: The appearance of seven statistically significant differences in ecological knowledge in the final study in favor of the group having outdoor physical education lessons proves the cognitively and visually stimulating role of a natural environment for physically active people. The location of physical education lessons turned out to be a much stronger condition for in-depth knowledge than gender, place of residence, parents’ education level, and subjective assessment of the financial satisfaction level. (4) Conclusion: These results are an incentive to further developing the young generation’s contact with nature through outdoor physical education lessons.
... Restorative features of environmental perception are positively correlated with aesthetic preferences and positive emotions [43]. A person's aesthetic preferences may play a crucial role in the experience of relaxation and stress relief [44], and there is a positive relationship between the preference for a particular environment and the environment's restoration potential for stress or mental fatigue [45]. Restorative experiences occur when people are in their preferred environment, which contributes to emotional development [6]. ...
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Human health is closely related to the environment; a relaxing and pleasant landscape environment can make people feel less stressed and more energetic. To investigate the restorative potential of landscape types and landscape elements in the post-epidemic era from the perspective of visual perception, this study selected Sichuan Agricultural University’s Laoban hill, Jiuqu bridge, and the ginkgo garden to carry out physiological and psychological measurement experiments with college students. Research results on the psycho-biological and perceptual recovery vary with the types of landscape spaces. The results of the physiological data showed that all three space types had no significant effect on the recovery of blood pressure and heart rate; Laoban hill and Jiuqu bridge had some impact on concentration, while the ginkgo garden had no significant effect; and all three space types had some effect on the relaxation of the subjects’ mental state. The results of the psychological data showed that the subjects’ emotions were significantly improved in the three different landscape space types. The space with the strongest restorative effect on negative emotions was the ginkgo garden, followed by Jiuqu bridge and Laoban hill. The spaces with the strongest restorative potential for positive emotions were Jiuqu bridge and the ginkgo garden, followed by Laoban hill. The results of the perceptual restoration data showed that the Laoban hill space had the most effective restorative potential on the human body, followed by Jiuqu bridge, with the ginkgo garden having the least effective restorative potential. The results of the study on the difference between the aesthetic preference of different landscape elements and the perception restorative effect of a space showed that “the harmony between artificial structures such as garden pieces and the environment”, “plant species”, “waterscape state”, and “boundary clarity” were identified as significant landscape elements with perception-restorative effects. These findings summarize campus landscape types and elements with optimal restorative potential. In the future, in campus landscape design—an active approach with a scientific combination and configuration of campus landscape types and elements—can provide a feasible solution to enhance the potential of campus landscape restorative effects.
... Recent studies revealed that dopamine enhances tolerance to drought and salt stress, as well as to nutrient deficiency in plants [67] and particularly low and high temperatures have been found to increase the activity of the important enzymes involved in catecholamines' biosynthesis, such as tyrosine hydroxylase and DDC, in potatoes [68]. Dopamine has a short half-life in humans or other mammals [69]. It varies from one minute to 60 ms [70,71]. ...
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Seedlings from the germinated seeds of Pistacia lentiscus were cultured in plant growth chambers for three months. Then, the plants were separated into three groups. Each group was cultured under different conditions. The first group was left to grow under normal Mediterranean conditions, as those recorded in spring. The other group was subjected to a ten-day heat stress while the last one also suffered a cold stress for ten days. The anatomical features of the leaves (leaf thickness, epidermal cell thickness, number of palisade layers, and development) between these three groups differed. The stressed plants accumulated large amounts of phenolics within their mesophyll cells. The biomass of the cold-stressed plants was minor, while it was high for the control plants. The oxidative stress was hardly detectable in the leaves of the control plants, while their heat-stressed counterparts suffered the highest concentration of reactive oxygen species. Differences concerning the absorption spectra of the three groups of leaves were not significant. An interesting incompatibility between the three groups concerned the expression of L-Dopa Decarboxylase, which climbed significantly in the heat-stressed plants. Finally, an interesting variation was observed concerning the concentrations of some biogenic amines/amino acids. This variation can be correlated to the other stress-induced reactions of the plants and, in some cases, was impressive. In conclusion, environmental stress can shift Pistacia lentiscus’ metabolism to synthesize different biogenic products, which can be considered as exploitable for the pharmaceutical or food industry.
... Place attachment refers to an individual's strong emotional connection to a particular place or environment, usually arising from comparative experience, and can be developed through long-term interaction [20], which has also been conceptualized as a sense of place bonding, or place identity [46,47]. Studies have shown that place attachment has a positive effect on mental restoration [22,48,49]. ...
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The natural environment has been widely recognized as an important way of alleviating mental disorders. While a growing number of studies have discussed the restorative effect of the natural environment, the role of sounds in the natural environment (i.e., soundscape) on promoting mental restoration is under limited exploration. Therefore, we examined the restorative effect of visual stimuli and the combination of audio and visual factors in the natural environment. A total of 149 college students were divided into five groups, and exposed to different combinations of photos and sounds (with ‘silence’ as a control group) collected along the East Lake Greenway—the longest urban greenway in China. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the correlation between characteristics of the natural environment and volunteers’ mental restoration, with place attachment as a mediator. Results showed that: (1) sound can alter the effect of visual factors on mental restoration; (2) birdsong can significantly enhance the restorative benefit of urban greenways; (3) an environment that is covered in greenery and consists of water sounds will contribute to a higher level of mental restoration; (4) human noise will have a negative impact on mental restoration; (5) place attachment is a mediator between the natural environment and mental restoration. This study highlights the effectiveness of sounds in the natural environment in promoting mental restoration, and broadens our understanding of the link between the natural environment and mental health. We propose that not only visual factors, but also audio-visual combinations, should be considered when creating restorative environments.
... Preference for perceived beauty among humans depends on the perception of the natural environment and visual attention [2]. Subjective preference is closely related to the aesthetic value of the environment and modified by individual bias, which originates from the visual attention generated by visually attractive stimuli in the environment [3][4][5][6]. There is a strong linear correlation between the subjective preference and visual attention in humans, and this correlation might originate from the generation of memory [7]. ...
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Visual attributes of greenery strongly affect the attention and preferences of people. We invited 90 volunteers to participate in a study on the subjective rating and eye tracking on the landscape attributes of greenery to determine the relationship between subjective preference and visual attention to the visual attributes of greenery. The results showed that the subjective ratings of Tree + shrub + grass (IV-A), blue flower (II-A), red flower (II-B), pink flower (II-C), broad-leaved tree (I-C), and bamboo (I-E) were relatively high, belonging to the high rating group. The random forest model showed that the fixation count could indicate a subjective preference. People generate visual attention by fixating on attractive visual attributes with high subjective ratings.
... EDA (or skin conductance; SC) is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and is used as indicator of physiological arousal 71,72 . EDA has been widely used in emotion and attention restoration studies 73,74 to measure and visualise subjective experience of pedestrians in virtual reality 75 or in the real world 23,76,77 , the experience of mobility of older people 78 , or stress while cycling in urban environments 79,80 . ...
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Environmental psychologists have established multiple psychological benefits of interaction with natural, compared to urban, environments on emotion, cognition, and attention. Yet, given the increasing urbanisation worldwide, it is equally important to understand how differences within different urban environments influence human psychological experience. We developed a laboratory experiment to examine the psychophysiological effects of the physical (outdoor or indoor) and social (crowded versus uncrowded) environment in healthy young adults, and to validate the use of mobile electroencephalography (EEG) and electrodermal activity (EDA) measurements during active walking. Participants (N = 42) were randomly assigned into a walking or a standing group, and watched six 1-min walk-through videos of green, urban indoor and urban outdoor environments, depicting high or low levels of social density. Self-reported emotional states show that green spaces is perceived as more calm and positive, and reduce attentional demands. Further, the outdoor urban space is perceived more positively than the indoor environment. These findings are consistent with earlier studies on the psychological benefits of nature and confirm the effectiveness of our paradigm and stimuli. In addition, we hypothesised that even short-term exposure to crowded scenes would have negative psychological effects. We found that crowded scenes evoked higher self-reported arousal, more negative self-reported valence, and recruited more cognitive and attentional resources. However, in walking participants, they evoked higher frontal alpha asymmetry, suggesting more positive affective responses. Furthermore, we found that using recent signal-processing methods, the EEG data produced a comparable signal-to-noise ratio between walking and standing, and that despite differences between walking and standing, skin-conductance also captured effectively psychophysiological responses to stimuli. These results suggest that emotional responses to visually presented stimuli can be measured effectively using mobile EEG and EDA in ambulatory settings, and that there is complex interaction between active walking, the social density of urban spaces, and direct and indirect affective responses to such environments.
... However, the current studies used urban environments that included both green and historic elements within an urban setting (Figure 1). Where more natural environments have been assessed, we have seen preferences for green environments, as has been reported by other authors assessing more natural green environments [17,49]. Therefore, future research is required to assess the relative weightings of elements such as 'greenness' and historic components within a range of natural/rural, semi-rural and urban environments to assess the generalizability of the findings for promoting well-being through visual exposure or immersion. ...
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Previous studies have identified the benefits of exposure to green or historic environments using qualitative methods and psychometric measures, but studies using a combination of measures are lacking. This study builds on current literature by focusing specifically on green and historic urban environments and using both psychological and physiological measures to investigate the impact of virtual exposure on well-being. Results from the psychological measures showed that the presence of historic elements was associated with a significantly stronger recuperation of hedonic tone (p = 0.01) and reduction in stress (p = 0.04). However, the presence of greenness had no significant effect on hedonic tone or stress. In contrast, physiological measures (EEG) showed significantly lower levels of alpha activity (p < 0.001) in occipital regions of the brain when participants viewed green environments, reflecting increased engagement and visual attention. In conclusion, this study has added to the literature by showing the impact that historic environments can have on well-being, as well as highlighting a lack of concordance between psychological and physiological measures. This supports the use of a combination of subjective and direct objective measures in future research in this field.
... In addition, ART argues that an individual's landscape preference is significantly associated with the attention restoration capacity of the landscape. Preferred environments, especially preferred natural environments, can enhance directed attention [48] [49] . Green spaces with the following eight environmental characteristics can contribute to attention restoration and landscape preference ( Table 4): 1) being away [38] ; 2) extent [38] ; 3) compatibility [40] ; 4) fascination [38] ; 5) coherence [38] ; 6) complexity (attention) [40] ; 7) legibility [40] ; and 8) mystery [40] . ...
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Knowledge workers drive social and economic development in contemporary cities but often exhibit poor psychological and physical health because of sedentary work, long-term and intense mental labor, and high-level occupational competition. Thus, providing high-quality restorative green spaces in knowledge workers’ proximity to promote their health and well-being has become an important and pressing need. Although the multiple health benefits of proximity to green spaces have been highlighted, the existing planning and design practices are not well supported by scientific theories and evidence. This study interprets the health benefits of proximity to green spaces in work environments considering four theoretical mechanisms: stress reduction, attention restoration and landscape preference, physical activity promotion, and sensory enrichment through an integrative literature review. Next, the paper identifies the key environmental characteristics of green spaces that can enhance the health and well-being of knowledge workers. In addition, it develops a set of criteria for evaluating the restorative capacity of existing sites and a set of guidelines to design restorative nearby green spaces, and proposes a simple paradigm to connect interdisciplinary research and practice.
... Quietness and acoustic vitality are considered to be the two main dimensions that elicit emotional responses in soundscapes [72]. Quiet environment plays an important role in people's physical and mental recovery [73], so it is favored by people [74]. In addition, some studies have shown that quietness was closely related to landscape scenic beauty and recreational satisfaction [75], so quietness had an important impact on landscape perception. ...
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Soundscape perception is increasingly recognized as an important part of landscape preference and environmental experience. However, few studies have juxtaposed visual landscape preference and soundscape preference to compare their contributions to overall landscape preference. This paper aims to quantify and compare the contribution of audiovisual perception to visitors’ overall park landscape preference. The landscape preferences of visitors at seven sample sites in a city park were investigated through field questionnaires in three dimensions: visual landscape, acoustic landscape, and audiovisual landscape. The results showed that visitors’ visual landscape preference (VLP = 7.53) was generally higher than soundscape preference (SP = 7.08), while the influence of auditory preference (57%) on overall landscape preference (OLP) was found to be greater than that of visual preference (43%). The ratio of audio/visual contribution to the overall landscape preference decreased as the average sound level of the sample sites increased. Of all the population characteristics, only the educational level (sig = 0.034) could be used as an effective predictor of OLP (Impact coefficient = −0.103). In addition, older visitors rated OLP lower than young visitors, and females rated OLP lower than males. It was found that visual harmony, color richness, color contrast, plant coverage, and plant diversity were the main visual landscape attributes that influenced visitors’ visual preferences, while acoustic harmony, quietness, sound vitality, and acoustic richness were the main soundscape attributes that impacts visitors’ auditory preference. The results of this study may be useful for park landscape design and regeneration.
... In addition to environmental characteristics, there are differences in the impact of people's psychological mechanisms on health. Studies have found that people perceive the natural environment to be more aesthetically pleasing than the built environment, resulting in emotional improvement and higher concentration levels [28]. In addition, naturalistic gardens are perceived to have more restorative benefits than geometric gardens because naturalistic gardens are regarded as more visually appealing, which further facilitates environmental restoration [29]. ...
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This study investigates the psychological restorative benefits of indoor vertical greenery and its relationship with visual satisfaction. Taking the Solar Decathlon China 2018 champion project “LONG-PLAN” as the experimental field, we conducted a questionnaire survey to evaluate the effect of indoor vertical greenery on creating a restorative environment. Then we further studied the relationship between the restorative environmental factors and visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery. The results show that: (1) Indoor vertical greenery has a positive impact on the subjective restoration of respondents (the average value of PRS = 4.150). (2) The three factors of “being away,” “fascination and compatibility,” and the “extent” of environmental restoration have a significant positive correlation with the visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery (the correlation coefficient values are 0.403, 0.627, and 0.425, respectively, p < 0.01). (3) In the stepwise regression analysis of the three factors and the visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery, only “fascination and compatibility” show a significant positive correlation (the regression coefficient = 0.753, p < 0.01). (4) The visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery has a significantly positive impact on environmental recovery (the regression coefficient = 0.459, p < 0.01). The study shows that indoor vertical greenery improves visual satisfaction and contributes to a restorative environment. In addition, the study provides further evidence of the mutual facilitation between restorative benefits and visual satisfaction.
... The physical and mental restoration effect would be better if the individual environmental preference is consistent with the environment experienced. For instance, people who prefer nature have a high consistency effect when experiencing the natural environment, which is easy to stimulate the recovery potential and positive emotions [107,108,112]. In general, VR psychological intervention scenarios should be designed based on the psychological need, and cognitive and behavioral characteristics of the intervened person, creating restorative environments and appropriate interaction to stimulate a sense of presence in order to reduce negative emotions and thinking. ...
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Anxiety and depression have been growing global mental health problems. The following studies explored the effect of interactive VR scenarios to find a low-cost and high-efficiency solution. Study 1 designed a 2 (anxiety and depression state) ×4 (interactive VR scenarios) experiment, the results of 20 participants showed that the designed scenarios had good restoration and presence, assisting to improve depression mood for people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Study 2 further investigated the intervention effects of two environment types (urban and park) and four interactive activities (automatic viewing, free-roaming, fishing, and watering plants in the park environment), based on data from a 10-minute experiment conducted by 195 participants with mild to moderate anxiety and depression. The subjective scales, EEG and EMG, and scenario experience were analyzed and the results showed that: (1) the restorative and present VR scenarios were beneficial in alleviating state anxiety and depression; (2) the restorative environment and presence were significantly and positively related to the reduction of anxiety and depression respectively, moreover, presence mediated the restorative environment on the recovery from anxiety and depression; (3) the environmental settings, the complexity of interaction, human factors, and maturity of VR devices and technology were also key factors that influenced the effects of interactive VR scenario experience and intervention. These studies revealed VR psychological intervention scenarios could be designed with comprehensive factors. Moreover, they might help pave the way for future study in exploring the physiology and psychology mode in virtual and real spaces, enhancing intervention effectiveness.
... According to Ulrich [50], landscape preferences have an emotional basis, and many studies have shown, using various approaches, that natural landscapes are able to reduce people's stress while urban settings are unable to exert any positive effect [51][52][53]; furthermore, more pleasant landscapes favour positive emotions in people [54]. There is also a positive relationship between landscape preferences, restorativeness and emotions aroused by viewing different landscapes [54][55][56][57]. ...
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As some previous research has highlighted, landscape characteristics are useful for improving the market share of some food products and the market power of companies in the agrifood sector. The purpose of this study is to verify whether the visual aesthetic quality of the landscape can influence food preferences and the willingness to pay for agrifood products. To this end, the preferences of 64 participants for three types of juice (orange, peach and pear) were analysed through a blind tasting experiment. Each participant tasted three pairs of fruit juices, one for each type of juice. The juices belonging to each pair were the same, but before tasting, the participants were shown two photos portraying the orchards where the fruits were produced, so participants were induced to think that the juices were different. The landscape associated with each pair of photographs had a different visual aesthetic quality (high or low). Participants were asked to provide three measures while tasting the juices: their overall juice assessment using a seven-point hedonic scale, the visual aesthetic quality of the photos on a seven-point Likert scale, and their willingness to pay as a percentage variation of the price that they usually pay to buy fruit juices. According to our results, the mean overall liking score and the mean willingness to pay percentage variation for the juices associated with a preferred landscape was higher and statistically different. Despite the need for further research, our results suggest that landscape acts as a proxy for quality in the evaluation of some food products and that the use of landscape photos could be a valid marketing strategy in agribusiness.
... Valence is associated to pleasantness. Urban environments such as traffic (Coensel et al., 2011) and build spaces (Berg et al., 2003;Özügner & Kendle, 2006;Wilkie & Stavridou, 2013) have been shown to impact negatively the pleasurable experience of walking. On the other hand, vegetation (Egorov et al., 2017), integrated urban vegetation (White & Gatersleben, 2011), walking in the forest (Hartig & Staats, 2006), and physical exercise in natural environments (Focht, 2009) lead to positive affective experiences. ...
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Green environments are said to have a positive impact on spontaneous physical activity and well-being. However, high quality psychological measures in natural settings are difficult to collect. In the present study, we offer a detailed report on how virtual reality may provide a controlled environment for immersive user testing. Virtual Reality (VR) was here used to test the impact of colorful floor markings on the spontaneous speed of walking, gaze behaviour, as well as perceived changes in and physiological mesures of affective states. The reactions of 36 adult participants were evaluated in Grey and Green VR environments of an urban university campus. Results in VR revealed similar results than that reported in natural settings: participants walked slower and had higher heart rates in Green than in Grey urban settings, indicating more pleasurable experiences. VR results provided nevertheless more detailed description of user experience with the possibility to quantify changes in gaze strategy as a function of the presence or absence of color designs. Spontaneous walking was slower with colorful designs than without. Gaze behaviour presented longer fixation times with colorful designs than without. Finally, physiological responses indicated that mean heart rates were similar across environments and predicted the physical effort of the task. However, greater means in heart rates were observed in the environments presenting colorful designs, suggesting that colors may be a powerful tool to trigger alertness and pleasure in Grey urban cities. Virtual reality is reported here as an innovative method to quantify psychological experiences during free exploration in gait. Applicable to a broad range of research topics in the psychological sciences, explicit guidelines are made available to share computer code and data sets for further exploitation.
... Understanding landscape preference helps to explore what kind of landscape is most favoured based on the comprehensive evaluation results of users on the landscape (Gonzalo et al., 2014;Junge et al., 2015). Some studies have also found that landscape preference reflects the effect of landscape on human attention recovery to some extent (van den Berg et al., 2003). Improving landscape preference can promote the public's physical and mental health in various ways. ...
Article
Landscape preference is the focus of landscape research, in which the relationship between landscape elements and landscape preference is an important issue. Most previous studies have analysed correlation between the landscape preference scored by the public and scores on the quality of landscape elements by experts; some have compared the effects of individual landscape elements on landscape preference by photo simulation. In this study, landscape preference is regarded as the selection preference of landscape element combination. The conjoint analysis method is used to further explore the ranking and optimal combination of the significant degrees of impact of landscape elements on landscape preference when multiple landscape element combinations are used. The results show that the influence degrees of landscape elements on landscape preference in urban parks followed the order water, square, openness of the landscape, vegetation, road and seats. The optimal combination of landscape elements is the open landscape with flowing water, a shaded square, rich vegetation, a road and seats. This study demonstrates the advantages of the conjoint analysis method over the univariate method in controlling multiple variables, improving experimental efficiency and obtaining more meaningful results. A combination of urban park landscape elements based on landscape preference is helpful to inspire landscape architects to make choices among multiple landscape elements, provides evidence-based design methods for landscape design and offers basic parameters for the wide application of the parametric design or computational design of landscape architecture.
... Wie bereits beschrieben, können sich virtuelle Naturerlebnisse auf das psychologische und physiologische Wohlbefinden des Menschen auswirken (de Kort et al. 2006;. So können insbesondere Filme mit Naturszenen regenerative Effekte nach sich ziehen (van den Berg et al. 2003). Jedoch ist bisher wenig über die Auswirkungen von 360°-Videos im Vergleich zum echten Naturerlebnis bekannt, wobei mindestens gleichwertige Effekte zu erwarten wären (Pilotti et al. 2015). ...
Book
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Naturerfahrungen haben positive Wirkungen auf die seelische Entwicklung, Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden und können geradezu als ein Element eines „guten Lebens“ interpretiert werden. In diesem Buch wird dieser Zusammenhang auf Lern- und Bildungskontexte bezogen. Bei Bildungsprozessen geht es nicht nur um die Übernahme von relevanten Inhalten, sondern um eine Berührung, Konfrontation und Transformation des Subjekts. Die zentralen Annahmen dieses Buches sind erstens, dass eben dies durch Naturerfahrungen eröffnet werden kann, und zweitens, dass dies auch (fachliche) Lernprozesse positiv beeinflussen kann.
... Therefore, the psychoevolutionary approach can be helpful to underlie why people are attracted to natural elements. For example, nature scenes have been found to quickly induce positive emotions and reduce negative emotions compared to outdoor scenes (Van den Berg et al., 2003). ...
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate a holistic way of incorporating biophilic building design that creates a restorative environment attractive to prospective urban hotel employees. This study additionally examines the role of perceived well-being from nature attributes and associated impacts on emotions and likelihood to choose to work for a hotel with nature attributes. Design/methodology/approach This study used a conjoint analysis to detect the most resotrative individual and combinations of biophilic attributes that can improve employee well-being. In addition, nature attributes influence on emotions and intentions to work for a hotel were analyzed. Findings Results showed that not all nature attributes are equally evaluated by urban hotel prospective employees. In this study, the authors found that natural lighting, outdoor green views and indoor landscaping are important factors in the evaluation of an urban hotel with biophilic features. However, this tendency varies when the sample was divided by prospective employees’ who perceived higher or lower levels of well-being would be influenced by nature attributes. Originality/value Unlike previous studies, the authors tested a multiattribute design and results demonstrate the perceived restorative effect of nature attributes in an environment on prospective employees. In addition to extending the biophilic design in hospitality literature, the authors provide practical suggestions to urban hotels incorporating biophilic design and propose that specific elements have the propensity to enhance the well-being of prospective employees and reinforce positive emotions and intentions to work for urban hotels that incorporate them.
... Moreover, the view (of real nature or aesthetical images) and natural materials (e.g., wood) reduce stress and anger in a working environment and help workers feel happier and healthier [10,62,73,74]. Moreover, individual preferences for a material can lead to stress reduction [75,76]. Participants preferring wood panels to white steel panels showed greater stress reduction when exposed to their preferred material: wood [75]. ...
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In recent years, work-related stress has grown exponentially and the negative impact that this condition has on people’s health is considerable. The effects of work-related stress can be distinguished in those that affect workers (e.g., depression and anxiety) and those that affect the company (e.g., absenteeism and productivity). It is possible to distinguish two types of prevention interventions. Individual interventions aim at promoting coping and individual resilience strategies with the aim of modifying cognitive assessments of the potential stressor, thus reducing its negative impact on health. Mindfulness techniques have been found to be effective stress management tools that are also useful in dealing with stressful events in the workplace. Organizational interventions modify the risk factors connected to the context and content of the work. It was found that a restorative workplace (i.e., with natural elements) reduces stress and fatigue, improving work performance. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness in nature helps to improve the feeling of wellbeing and to relieve stress. In this paper, we review the role of mindfulness-based practices and of contact with nature in coping with stressful situations at work, and we propose a model of coping with work-related stress by using mindfulness in nature-based practices.
... Several studies have consistently found empirical support for the assumption that people respond more positively to natural vs. urban environments (Staats et al., 2003;Van den Berg et al., 2003;Berto, 2005). Urban environments in these studies refer to human-made, built environments, such as streetscapes and buildings. ...
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We provide an extension of the Savanna perceptual preference hypothesis (“Savanna Hypothesis”), supposing that interaction with landscapes offering survival advantage for human groups during evolution might have gradually evolved to permanent landscape preferences. This additional support is based on the palaeoenvironmental analysis of the spread of modern humans into Europe in the late Pleistocene and their living environments there. Our hypothesis is that the preference for park-like landscapes after African savannas experienced a kind of “refreshment” in the Pleistocene. Thus, preferences for certain types of natural settings and scenes may have a more continuous evolutionary history than previously thought. The extended Savanna Hypothesis termed “Pleistocene Hypothesis” might stimulate further work on this important topic linking human evolution and human environmental preferences.
... Remarkably, a close relationship between environmental preference and restoration exists. People's preference ratings for a place depend on how restorative the place is [6]. ...
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Exposure to outside views creates opportunities to distract and experience feelings of relaxation. To explore the relationship between the environmental qualities of the views with such psychological states, 89 participants from seven Mexican states evaluated the views they contemplated during the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Items on fascination, cognitive well-being, and how relaxing and helpful the views were to withstand the confinement were answered. Participants took photographs of the views, which were evaluated according to 41 environmental dimensions, considering the built elements, vegetation, and visibility. Based on these dimensions, a classification of the views into categories was realized with multidimensional scaling. The five categories obtained were (a) immersive views of extensive landscapes with vegetation, (b) non-immersive views of landscapes with vegetation, (c) views of courtyards with vegetation, (d) views of commonplace scenes, and (e) views of mostly built elements. The categories generating the highest and lowest relaxation, fascination, and cognitive well-being were identified. The views of extensive landscapes with vegetation and the views of courtyards were the categories presenting the most favorable psychological effects. Furthermore, a partial correlation network found direct relations between the environmental and psychological dimensions. Fascination relates to the observation of distant elements, mountains, and trees. Meanwhile, relaxation correlates with the presence of plants and anticorrelates with car visibility, the quantity of the windows of the visible buildings, and the variety of built elements. Relaxation was the psychological state with the highest direct relation with the environmental dimensions. Meanwhile, the perceived immersion (the feeling of being outdoors), the quantity of plants, and the attractiveness of the built elements were the environmental aspects most directly related to the psychological dimensions. The multiplicity of environmental and architectural qualities considered allowed specific implications for architecture to be obtained. An integrated configuration of the natural and the built elements, and a limited quantity and variation of the built elements were qualities that generated positive outcomes in the observers of the views
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With the development of world towards industrialization, globalization, higher economic growth, population growth and living standards, the consumption of natural resources has been raised a lot. However, there is a limited capacity of our planet to meet the increasing demands for natural resources and to absorb emissions and wastes resulting from us. Ecovillage is a solution for healing the planet as it demonstrates a viable, sustainable human and planetary future. In this research paper Ecovillage design patterns will be analyzed and evaluated for environmental conservation. Case study of Dayalbagh is also presented to evaluate its performance as an Ecovillage.
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Background Although the mental health benefits of exposure to simulated natural environments are well established by researchers from environmental psychology, landscape architecture, and public health, it is unclear whether and to what extent technological immersion affects these benefits. Methods Systematical literature searches were conducted in May 2022 from six databases. The risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane’s Risk of Bias tool 2.0 and the Risk of Bias in Non-randomized Studies of Interventions tool. We performed a random-effects meta-regression to investigate the heterogeneity. The immersion levels of included studies were classified by projection devices and motion capture, and then subgroup analysis was conducted. Results Twenty-six publications were included. Exposure to simulated nature was confirmed to be associated with increased positive affect 0.40 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.22, 0.58], vigor 0.58 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.86), calmness 0.54 (95% CI: 0.17, 0.92) and decreased perceived stress −0.38 (95% CI: −0.71, −0.06), total mood disturbance −0.87 (95% CI: −1.17, −0.57), tension −0.70 (95% CI: −0.99, −0.41), fatigue −0.60 (95% CI: −0.91, −0.28), anxiety −0.72 (95% CI: −1.43, −0.02), depression −0.33 (95% CI: −0.52, −0.14), confusion −0.79 (95% CI: −1.19, −0.40), and anger −0.54 (95% CI: −0.76, −0.31). Gender, health status, study design, mean age, and single exposure duration were not significant when entered in a meta-regression. For positive affect, medium immersion was observed to produce a larger effect than low and high immersion. All included studies had a moderate to high risk of bias. Conclusion Audio-visual exposure to simulated nature contributes to stress relief and emotional arousal. The immersion level explains the heterogeneity of positive affect triggered by simulated nature. Focusing on the technical features will open up new possibilities for combining actual and simulated nature’s mental health benefits.
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2022). The effect of mall ambiance, layout, and utility on consumers' escapism and repurchase intention. Abstract Shopping malls are visited for both functional as well as entertainment values. They provide emotional comfort and escape from boredom and stress to the shoppers. This study investigates the relationship of ambiance, layout, and utility of a mall with escapism and repurchase intention using the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) model. Using a survey instrument, a convenience sampling procedure was adopted to obtain data from 316 respondents (mall visitors of the Delhi National capital Region in India). Delhi is the mall capital of India, with the highest population density in the world. The relationships between utility-escapism (β = .0265, p = .018), layout-escapism (β = 0.269, p = .012), layout-utility (β = 0.776, p < 0.001), utility-ambiance (β = 0.480, p < 0.001), layout-ambiance (β = 0.407, p < 0.001), and escapism-repurchase intention (β = 0.708, p < 0.001) are validated. However, the relationship between ambiance-escapism (β = 0.073, p = .509) is not supported. The results indicate that mall layout facilitates escapism followed by utility, whereas ambiance does not play a vital role. The purpose of the mall visit moderates this effect. Mall managers can create engaging shopping experiences to help shoppers escape boring routines/stress through improved layouts and enhanced functional values. The study establishes a strong linkage between mall layout, utility, and escapism.
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In the present age in urban and industrial societies, the environment's negative effects on the psyche of individuals and the prevalence of mental disorders make a need to pay attention to public health. Based on this fact, healing spaces are required for a daily stressful life. Residential areas have the largest share among where human beings deal during the day and have the most significant impact on the individual. So, these spaces should be designed to provide mental and physical health for residents. This study aims to provide effective components for promoting the general health of residents in residential complexes. This research has been done by a combined method (quantitative-qualitative). In the first stage, after introducing the basic concepts, healing architecture characteristics have been extracted from the research background, which will be the basis for the researcher-made questionnaire. Data collection was conducted by presenting a researcher-made questionnaire, a standard general health questionnaire (GHQ), and Keyes's Social Well- being questionnaire (KSWBQ) to the residents of Zanbagh and Golestan residential complexes in Shiraz. Finally, the data obtained by Spss-23 software were analyzed using factor analysis, Pearson correlation, and the Friedman test. According to the results, the effective design components of residential complexes include various spaces and activities, environmental safety and security, privacy, environmental well-being, environmental pleasure and attractiveness, and social interactions based on promoting the general health of residents. Among these factors, the highest mean rank belongs to the component of social interactions, and the lowest one belongs to the component of various spaces and activities.
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Research on the restorative quality of environments has grown rapidly, however the majority of existing literature focuses on daytime landscapes, while the restorative quality of evening landscapes is less studied. In particular, the landscape characteristics and(or) lighting features that play an essential role in improving the restorative quality of nightscapes are unknown. To address these gaps, 12 urban green spaces were selected as the study sites and the same scene at each site was photographed during the day and evening. The restorative quality and 14 landscape characteristics of all photographs were evaluated quantitatively, and four lighting features of photographs taken during the evening were measured. Statistical analysis indicated that: (1) the restorative quality of daytime landscapes was significantly higher than that of evening landscapes; (2) abundant colors and natural vegetation suggested higher restorative quality during the daytime; and (3) increasing the brightness of lighting and setting lighting sources in the distant view of visitors could improve the restorative quality of evening landscapes. Combined with the previous literature, the results suggest that lighting has the ability to redesign nightscapes, which consequently improves their restorative quality by concealing the less restorative features and illuminating the key elements to promote mental restoration.
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This paper examines the role of the classroom environment in promoting student well-being and, more specifically, a sense of responsibility towards nature in the city. The study analyzed how indoor vs outdoor educational environments affect students' perception of events and phenomena focusing on emotional, behavioral and cognitive processes. It was conducted in the Kayakyolu Secondary School, Erzurum, Turkey with 282 students ranging in age from 11 to 14 in grades 5–8. They participated in reading a story in two distinct environments: an enclosed indoor classroom and an outdoor botanical garden. Significant differences in the emotional, behavioral and cognitive approaches of the students in these two environments were obtained at p < .05. All three approaches (emotional behavioral and cognitive) in the botanical garden environment produced higher positive values than those of the classroom environment. The rate of negative emotions of the students in the botanical garden was 23.3% and increased to 40.1% in a closed classroom environment. It was clearly observed that the environmental awareness and sensitivity of the students educated in botanical garden was absolutely higher than those of an indoor environment. The responses indicating behaviors of not adversely interfering with natural processes and indicating the value of living in harmony with nature increased in the botanical garden. The findings of this research demonstrate that environmental education conducted in a natural environment is more effective as compared to the education given in the classroom setting. The study supports the proposition that future generations educated in natural surroundings will be better able to make more accurate, creative, and resilient decisions for the environment.
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Previous studies have mainly focused on the independent role of landscape characteristics or preference on psychological restoration respectively. However, relatively few studies have explored the complex relationships between restorative effects, landscape characteristics, preference and place bonding factors, particularly in urban parks. The development of new data environment and technique methods enables such a synthesis of innovative approach to reveal the influences of urban park characteristics and various psychological factors on collegers’ perceived restoration. A typical urban park in Wuhan, China, was selected for pilot study, in which 1560 crowdsourced images were collected using the Public Participation Geographic Information System (PPGIS) tool. With the help of Deep Learning techniques, landscape characteristics were combined with perceptual factors for the Partial Least Squares (PLS) based statistical analysis. It was found that some landscape properties, such as vegetation and water, presented indirect impacts in activating restoration via psychological mediators. The mediating effect of sense of place and the moderating effects of landscape characteristics on the preference-restoration nexus were revealed. These findings shed new light on the complex process in environmental restoration in which psychological and physical factors are intertwined. At the end, theoretical and managerial implications were proposed for the improvement of landscape planning in restoration studies.
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The natural environment is increasingly valued for its positive effect in retaining/restoring good mental health. Landscape architects are now challenged to embed therapeutic aspects within certain landscape designs, but what does this mean in practice? Flower colour has been one area that has attracted attention as potentially improving the restorative aspects of a designed landscape. In this research, 670 UK residents were surveyed to examine their preferences and emotional responses to flower colour using computer-generated images of ‘daisy-like’ flowers in 8 separate colours. Results showed that white, blue and orange were the most preferred flower colours. The data suggested, however, two separate phenomena were determining the psychological benefits associated with flower colour. The first is that there are some generic responses associated with key floral colours – flowers in blue play an effective role in relaxation/stress reduction; and warm colours - orange, yellow and red evoke uplifted emotions and deliver better positive affect. Interestingly, white was a colour that could both relax and provide uplifted emotions. The second phenomenon though, suggests that additionally and independently, an individual preference for a particular colour can also elicit positive psychological benefits, irrespective of what that particular colour is. In effect, favoured colours have a separate restorative effect that acts at a personal level. This finding has significance for landscape architects in that certain flower colours can be used to promote ‘generic’ therapeutic responses in appropriate locations, but that components of any designed landscape still need to take some account of personal responses and preferences.
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The factors contributing to urbanization, such as population growth and the development of mega-cities, have increased environmental stressors on top of everyday stressors, resulting in information overload. This has led to the increasing incidence of direct attentional fatigue, which causes stress and mental fatigue. The attention restoration theory centres on the environment’s capacity to restore attentional deficits and suggests that there are certain qualities in the environment that restore attention, which leads to improvements in our physical, mental, and social well-being. An environment can be restorative through the activation of involuntary attention, which limits the need for directed attention. This study explored for effects of natural, built, and mixed environment types and levels of mystery on attention restoration in university undergraduates. Perceived and actual levels of attention restoration were measured using a perceived restoration scale (PRS) and the digit symbol substitution task (DSST), respectively. A total of 101 participants viewed a restorative image followed by the completion of the DSST and the PRS for each of the 18 images depicting different environments. Actual attention restoration was measured by latency values in the DSST instead of through both speed and error rates due to some operational issues with the DSST which interfered with the full achievement of the study’s aims. There was an effect of different environments and mystery on perceived attention restoration. However, there appeared to be no effect on actual attention restoration, indicating a disconnect between perceived and actual restoration. Further research is required to confirm the specific effects of natural and built environments and mystery on attention restoration.
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The impact of COVID-19 on university students’ utilization of campus’ green spaces and its need in the post-epidemic era was studied in this research. Data were collected from Chinese and Japanese university students using an online questionnaire. The findings show that COVID-19 induced campus lockdown affected students’ motivation to go to school, reduced the time spent on campus, and reduced school frequency. The lockdown encouraged students to explore the green spaces despite their inability to enter the campus. Arguably, COVID-19 has significantly influenced usage pattern of campus’ green spaces. In the post-pandemic era, students generally prefer integrated campus green spaces with wider areas. According to the one-way ANOVA, larger green spaces that can accommodate a lot of people are considered controversial by students coming from various countries and grades. This is because these may attract crowds, increasing the risk of infection. These findings have practical implications for administrators and designers of campus green spaces. Furthermore, the findings of this study could be used to improve campus green spaces in the post-pandemic era, resulting in a more appropriate campus environment for students.
Book
Adopting an evidence-based approach, this book uses two state-of-the-art experimental studies to explore nature’s therapeutic benefits in healthcare environments, emphasizing how windows and transparent spaces can strengthen people–nature interactions. High-quality, supportive, and patient-centred healthcare environments are a key priority for healthcare designers worldwide, with ageing populations creating a demand for remodeled and updated facilities. The first study demonstrates individual psychophysiological responses, moods, and preferences in simulated hospital waiting areas with different levels of visual access to nature through windows, while the second experiment uses cutting-edge immersive virtual reality techniques to explore how gardens and nature views impact people’s spatial cognition, wayfinding behaviors, and experience when navigating hospitals. Through these studies and discussions drawing on architectural theory, the book highlights the important benefits of having access to nature from hospital interiors. This concise volume will appeal to academics and designers interested in therapeutic landscapes and healthcare architecture.
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This study aims to evaluate the extent to which virtual reality (VR) natural and built settings affect emotional states. Web of Science, SCOPUS, and PubMed were searched for relevant articles prior to February 2022. Of 15 articles identified for systematic review, 6 met the inclusion criteria for meta-analysis (studies with only pre- and post-condition measures of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) were included). Both positive affect (g = 0.20, p = 0.001) and negative affect (g = − 0.30, p = 0.001) change scores for the VR natural environment were statistically significant. On the other hand, change scores for VR built environment were not significant in both positive affect (g = − 0.08, p = 0.355) and negative affect (g = − 0.08, p = 0.058). The findings revealed that, in addition to a VR natural environment, a VR built environment is capable of providing restorative experiences against negative mood in some circumstances.
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Surveys eliciting qualitative judgments of environments might have an objective psychophysical basis. They can employ numeric, single-construct, integer rating scales or ratio scales between opposing negative and positive end-point constructs. Each stimulus can be measured by different ‘averaging’ methods across subjects' ratings. The impacts of these choices on data reliability and validity were investigated. Three different rating scales were presented to different sets of subjects who rated the same stimuli. Eighty photos of various forests and timber harvests were rated for (1) scenic beauty on a 1 to 10 scale, (2) ugliness or scenic beauty on a −5 to +5 scale, or (3) the same bipolar scale but without a central zero value. Ratings from each photo from one rating scale were averaged and ‘averaged’ again by the Scenic Beauty Estimate (SBE) signal detection algorithm. Distributions of the raw and averaged ratings were examined to explore validity by conformance with psychophysical theory. Ratings from the bipolar scale without a zero exhibited the most evidence of validity across a wider range, indicating that it best conformed with discrimination of photos' perceived beauty and ugliness along a shared, psychophysical gradient. Averaged ratings from the 1 to 10 scale produced the most reliable data, while its SBEs were slightly less reliable but with more stable errors. These ratings exhibited poor validity among low-beauty photos The bipolar rating scale that included a zero value was least reliable and valid, particularly across its ratio SBEs. All rating scales' average ratings or SBEs exhibited acceptable reliability.
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Aim This study checked the effects of landscape types and complexity along path in urban green spaces on perceived restorativeness, so as to provide guidance for path landscape design. Background Paths in urban green spaces are not only the connections between places but also places for visitors reducing mental stress and seeking psychological well-being. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research on the effects of landscape composition along the path on restorative quality, failing to provide a cohesive guideline for practice. Methods Fourteen videos representing the popular path landscapes in urban green spaces were produced using computer software by adding or/and deleting elements and controlling environmental components. The restorative quality of these videos was measured by Short-version Revised Restoration Scale (SRRS). Statistical analysis was employed to treat the data and checked the effects of different landscape types and complexity on restorative quality. Results (1) A significant difference in restorative quality between 14 path landscapes was found, comparatively, the path containing lawn or(and) forest was much better than that containing bamboo and waterscape, and bamboo was a negative predictor of restorative quality; (2) waterscape generally reduced the restorative quality of vegetated path landscape, especially when the landscape possessed higher restorative quality; (3) path landscape complexity had a weak influence on restorative quality. Conclusions This study explains how path landscapes affect mental restoration of users, and these findings contribute to enhancing the restorative quality of urban green spaces and have applications for path landscape design.
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The biophilia hypothesis posits an innate biological and genetic connection between human and nature, including an emotional dimension to this connection. Biophilic design builds on this hypothesis in an attempt to design human-nature connections into the built environment. This article builds on this theoretical framework through a meta-analysis of experimental studies on the emotional impacts of human exposure to natural and urban environments. A total of 49 studies were identified, with a combined sample size of 3,201 participants. The primary findings indicated that exposure to natural environments had a medium to large effect on both increasing positive affect and decreasing negative affect. This finding supported the anticipated emotional dimension of the biophilia hypothesis and lends credibility to biophilic design theory. Evidence was revealed in support of the affective/arousal response model. Immersion in environments indicated a larger effect size than laboratory simulation of environments. Methodological recommendations for future experimental research were few, however the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) outcome measure was recommended as a measure of both positive and negative affect for further studies. A combination measurement of stress related outcome variables was proposed to further explore the affective/arousal response model and its potential relationship to the biophilia hypothesis. The meta-analysis provides evidence for fundamental theories regarding human-nature connection, while revealing gaps in current knowledge.
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Attention Restoration Theory proposes that exposure to natural environments helps to restore attention. For sustained attention—the ongoing application of focus to a task, the effect appears to be modest, and the underlying mechanisms of attention restoration remain unclear. Exposure to nature may improve attention performance through many means: modulation of alertness and one’s connection to nature were investigated here, in two separate studies. In both studies, participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) before and immediately after viewing a meadow, ocean, or urban image for 40 s, and then completed the Perceived Restorativeness Scale. In Study 1 (n = 68), an eye-tracker recorded the participants’ tonic pupil diameter during the SARTs, providing a measure of alertness. In Study 2 (n = 186), the effects of connectedness to nature on SART performance and perceived restoration were studied. In both studies, the image viewed was not associated with participants’ sustained attention performance; both nature images were perceived as equally restorative, and more restorative than the urban image. The image viewed was not associated with changes in alertness. Connectedness to nature was not associated with sustained attention performance, but it did moderate the relation between viewing the natural images and perceived restorativeness; participants reporting a higher connection to nature also reported feeling more restored after viewing the nature, but not the urban, images. Dissociation was found between the physiological and behavioral measures and the perceived restorativeness of the images. The results suggest that restoration associated with nature exposure is not associated with modulation of alertness but is associated with connectedness with nature.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The distinction between people and places has been a recurring theme in environmental research, but explicit studies of this distinction are rare. This paper reports variance components analyses on random samples of both respondents and stimuli to address the question of the respective effect sizes for people and places on the criterion of preferences for environmental scenes. Independently replicated findings from scenes in two different cities suggest that people and places respectively account for about 10% and 40% of the population preference variance. Implications for multicultural design and research are discussed.
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The findings suggest that stressed individuals feel significantly better after exposure to nature scenes rather than to American urban scenes lacking nature elements. Compared to the influences of the urban scenes, the salient effect of the nature exposures was to increase Positive Affect — including feelings of affection friendliness, playfulness, and elation. The increase in positive affect produced by the nature scenes is consistent with the finding that the nature exposures also significantly reduced Fear Arousal. According to psychological theories, a reduction in arousal or activation produces pleasurable feelings if an individual is experiencing stress or excessive arousal (Berlyne, 1971, pp. 81–82). In contrast to the nature scenes, the urban views tended to work against emotional well‐being. The major effect of the urban scenes was to significantly increase Sadness. There was also a consistent but non‐significant tendency for the urban scenes to‐aggravate feelings of Anger/Aggression, and for the nature scenes to reduce such feelings. The urban exposures also held the attention of subjects somewhat less effectively than the nature exposures. These findings were stable across sexes, and applied to subjects who had grown up in either rural or urban environments.
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Groups of subjects judged one example of two different types of outdoor scene on each of the items of the Perceived Restorative Scale, on two preference scales and a familiarity scale. It was argued that the previously demonstrated large variations in preference between different types of scenes were the result of participants using the restorative value of a scene as an implicit frame of reference for the preference judgment. Preference and the Perceived Restorative Scale score correlated .81, whereas familiarity and the Restorative Scale correlated .31, and preference and familiarity correlated .32. This result supports the hypothesis regarding the use of the restorative value of a scene as an implicit frame of reference for preference judgments. It is further argued that variations in the preference and restorative value of scenes may be associated with fractal geometry.
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Restorative environments help renew psychological resources depleted in environments that do not fully support intended functions. The design of restorative environments can be aided and underlying theory elaborated with a means for measuring psychological factors thought to work in restorative experiences. This paper reports on four studies carried out to develop such a measure, the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS). Each study employed several strategies for assessing reliability and validity. Factor analysis was used to examine the stability of the measure's factor structure across different sites and studies. To assess criterion, convergent, and discriminant validities, measures of emotional states and other environmental qualities were also completed for each site. The sites selected for evaluation differed on theoretically relevant dimensions (natural-urban; outdoor-indoor), enabling checks on the PRS's sensitivity to meaningful differences among environments. The results were consistent across the studies, which also involved different subject populations (American, Swedish, Finnish) and presentation modes (on-site, video, photographic slides). Although the factor analytic results introduce some interpretive qualifications, substantial validity coefficients and sensitivity to meaningful differences between sites speak to the utility of the measure.
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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 communities, using a survey with both verbal and visual material, provides considerable support for the premise that having natural elements or settings in the view from the window contributes substantially to residents’ satisfaction with their neighborhood and with diverse aspects of their sense of well-being. Views of built elements, by contrast, affected satisfaction but not well-being. Views of the sky and weather did not have a substantial effect on either outcome. The potential of nature content in the view from home to contribute so significantly to satisfaction and well-being suggests clear action mandates.
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Argues that evolutionary heritage underlies humans' consistent preference for stimuli from the natural environment and that research on affective and aesthetic responses is needed to understand human interaction with the environment. It is noted that the rapidly expanding empirical record concerning aesthetic and affective responses to natural environments is in need of a well-developed theoretical foundation. An integrated conceptual framework to address this theoretical lack, drawing on recent theory and research on emotion, is proposed. This framework explains how affects arise in the natural environment; postulates their functions; and links them to cognition, activity in physiological systems, and behavior. The present author, in developing the framework, questions the view that feelings result from cognitive processes, asserting that feelings (not thoughts) are the initial response in environmental encounters. The observer's initial feeling reaction shapes subsequent cognitive events. The relative sequence of feeling and thinking in environmental encounters represents a fundamental issue in understanding human interaction with the environment. (98 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Reviews evidence which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Ss are sometimes (a) unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, (b) unaware of the existence of the response, and (c) unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed that when people attempt to report on their cognitive processes, that is, on the processes mediating the effects of a stimulus on a response, they do not do so on the basis of any true introspection. Instead, their reports are based on a priori, implicit causal theories, or judgments about the extent to which a particular stimulus is a plausible cause of a given response. This suggests that though people may not be able to observe directly their cognitive processes, they will sometimes be able to report accurately about them. Accurate reports will occur when influential stimuli are salient and are plausible causes of the responses they produce, and will not occur when stimuli are not salient or are not plausible causes. (86 ref)
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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. Based on dimensional analyses, a nature and an urban dimension were identified. Three major results were obtained: (1) Nature scenes were greatly preferred to urban scenes (p < .001). (2) Complexity predicted preference within the nature domain (r = .69) and within the urban domain (r = .78). (3) Complexity did not account for the preference for nature over urban slides; the greatly preferred nature slides were, in fact, judged on the average less complex than the urban slides. The possibility is raised that the domain-specific character of the preference/complexity relationship found in this study may be general; that is, it may not be a special property of environmentally generated arrays.
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Attention Restoration Theory (ART) proposes that effortful directed attention can become fatigued in modern urban environments. Restoration can occur in a setting that evokes fascination (effortless attention). Ordinary natural settings evoke soft fascination, that is, moderate fascination accompanied by esthetic pleasure. Such settings enable a fully restorative experience, including the recovery of directed attention and the opportunity for serious reflection. Settings broadly classified as sports/entertainment are more likely to evoke hard fascination, that is, very high levels of fascination that fill the mind. Such settings permit directed attention recovery but afford little opportunity for reflection. We tested these ideas by having participants rate the perceived restorative effectiveness of three kinds of settings (ordinary natural, sports/entertainment, and everyday urban) under two goal-set conditions (as places for attentional recovery or for reflection). Ordinary natural settings were seen as having the highest overall restorative effectiveness, everyday urban settings as having the lowest, and sports/entertainment settings as in between. Moreover, sports/entertainment settings were seen as higher in restorative effectiveness for the attentional-recovery goal set than for the reflection goal set. No such goal-set difference occurred for the other two setting categories combined. These results are in agreement with the predictions of ART.
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Different conceptual perspectives converge to predict that if individuals are stressed, an encounter with most unthreatening natural environments will have a stress reducing or restorative influence, whereas many urban environments will hamper recuperation. Hypotheses regarding emotional, attentional and physiological aspects of stress reducing influences of nature are derived from a psycho-evolutionary theory. To investigate these hypotheses, 120 subjects first viewed a stressful movie, and then were exposed to color/sound videotapes of one of six different natural and urban settings. Data concerning stress recovery during the environmental presentations were obtained from self-ratings of affective states and a battery of physiological measures: heart period, muscle tension, skin conductance and pulse transit time, a non-invasive measure that correlates with systolic blood pressure. Findings from the physiological and verbal measures converged to indicate that recovery was faster and more complete when subjects were exposed to natural rather than urban environments. The pattern of physiological findings raised the possibility that responses to nature had a salient parasympathetic nervous system component; however, there was no evidence of pronounced parasympathetic involvement in responses to the urban settings. There were directional differences in cardiac responses to the natural vs urban settings, suggesting that attention/intake was higher during the natural exposures. However, both the stressor film and the nature settings elicited high levels of involuntary or automatic attention, which contradicts the notion that restorative influences of nature stem from involuntary attention or fascination. Findings were consistent with the predictions of the psycho-evolutionary theory that restorative influences of nature involve a shift towards a more positively-toned emotional state, positive changes in physiological activity levels, and that these changes are accompanied by sustained attention/intake. Content differences in terms of natural vs human-made properties appeared decisive in accounting for the differences in recuperation and perceptual intake.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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Subjects (N = 60) were randomly assigned to an elated, depressed, or neutral mood-induction condition to assess the effect of mood state on cognitive functioning. In the elated condition film fragments expressing happiness and euphoria were shown. In the depressed condition some frightening and distressing film fragments were presented. The neutral group watched no film. Mood states were measured using the Profile of Mood States, and a Stroop task assessed selective attention. Both were presented by computer. The induction groups differed significantly in the expected direction on the mood subscales Anger, Tension, Depression, Vigour, and Fatigue, and also in the mean scale response times, i.e., slower responses for the depressed condition and faster for the elated one. Differences between conditions were found in the errors on the Stroop: in the depressed condition were the fewest errors and significantly longer error reaction times. Speed of error was associated with self-reported fatigue.
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Evidence is reviewed which suggests that there may be little or no direct introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. Subjects are sometimes (a) unaware of the existence of a stimulus that importantly influenced a response, (b) unaware of the existence of the response, and (c) unaware that the stimulus has affected the response. It is proposed that when people attempt to report on their cognitive processes, that is, on the processes mediating the effects of a stimulus on a response, they do not do so on the basis of any true introspection. Instead, their reports are based on a priori, implicit causal theories, or judgments about the extent to which a particular stimulus is a plausible cause of a given response. This suggests that though people may not be able to observe directly their cognitive processes, they will sometimes be able to report accurately about them. Accurate reports will occur when influential stimuli are salient and are plausible causes of the responses they produce, and will not occur when stimuli are not salient or are not plausible causes.
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The therapeutic value of landscape in giving opportunity for 'spiritual renewal' through closer contact with nature has been the basis for much of the scenic conservation movement and lies behind a universal concept of National Parks as providing recreational resources for urban populations. This belief is tested in a series of classroom studies. -C.Laverick
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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 processing, thus supporting the hypothesis that a rapid, unconscious type of cognition may precede certain affective judgments. Such ties between cognition and affect are understandable in the context of the proposed theoretical framework for environmental preference. This framework not only provides a coherent guide to research but also points to the pervasiveness and significance of aesthetics as a factor in human behavior and human experience.
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A transactional account of human-environment systems holds that the various aspects of those systems serve to define each other. From this perspective experiences of natural and built aspects of human environments are seen as mutually dependent. Examining implications of this view, the paper refers to a large, multidisciplinary body of research dealing with various facets of nature experience. The literature supports discussion of both a general and a specific transactional character of nature experience. In the general sense, individuals are engaged in an exchange across species and sociocultural levels of aggregation. This transaction draws motive force from an on-going process of differentiation and evaluation of natural and human-made objects and environments. This process is integral to the development of cultures, and has led to the creation of conditions that challenge our biological adaptedness. Looking then to the specific transactional character, literature is reviewed to draw out reciprocities between individuals' experiences of nature and their experiences of built, often urban, environments. Environmental evaluations, motivations for outdoor recreation, and benefits attributed to contact with nature all speak to the existence of experiential bonds between the natural and the built. Implications for research and planning are discussed in closing.
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The utility of different theoretical models of restorative experience was explored in a quasi-experimental field study and a true experiment. The former included wilderness backpacking and nonwilderness vacation conditions, as well as a control condition in which participants continued with their daily routines. The latter had urban environment, natural environment, and passive relaxation conditions. Multimethod assessments of restoration consisted of self-reports of affective states, cognitive performance, and, in the latter study, physiological measures. Convergent self-report and performance results obtained in both studies offer evidence of greater restorative effects arising from experiences in nature. Implications for theory, methodology, and design are discussed.
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A survey of the sales of 844 single family residential properties in Athens, Georgia, U.S.A., indicated that landscaping with trees was associated with 3.5%–4.5% increase in sales prices. During the 1978–1980 study period, the average house sold for about $38 100 (in 1978 constant dollars) and had five trees in its front yard. The average sales price increase due to trees was between $1475 and $1750 ($2869 and $3073 in 1985 dollars) and was largely due to trees in the intermediate and large size classes, regardless of species. This increase in property value results in an estimated increase of $100 000 (1978 dollars) in the city's property tax revenues.
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A considerable body of folklore and scientific research alludes to the efficacy of the vernacular environment to influence both aesthetic experience and general well-being. To examine explicitly whether stress recovery and/or immunization varies as a function of the roadside environment, 160 college-age participants, both male and female, viewed one of four different video-taped simulated drives through outdoor environments immediately following and preceding mildly stressful events. Overall, it was anticipated that participants who viewed artifact-dominated drives, relative to participants who viewed nature-dominated drives, would show greater autonomic activity indicative of stress (e.g. elevated blood pressure and electrodermal activity), as well as show altered somatic activity indicative of greater negative affect (e.g. elevated electromyographic (EMG) activity over the brow region and decreased activity over the cheek region). In addition, it was expected that participants who viewed nature-dominated drives would experience quicker recovery from stress and greater immunization to subsequent stress than participants who viewed artifact-dominated drives. The overall pattern of results is consistent with both hypotheses and the findings are interpreted to support postulating a sympathetic-specific mechanism that underlies the effect of nature on stress recovery and immunization.
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Theory and research dealing with place identity and restorative environments have for the most part proceeded independently. Assuming that emotional- and self-regulation are processes underlying the development of place identity, and that a person's favorite place is an exemplar of environments used in such regulation processes, the present study goes beyond preliminary observations about restorative aspects of favorite places to consider how individuals evaluate their favorite places using terms set out in restorative environments theory. Finnish university students (n=78) evaluated the central square of their city (Tampere) and favorite and unpleasant places of their own designation using the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS), an instrument based on attention restoration theory. Consistent with notions of self-regulation, PRS subscale scores for Being Away, Fascination, Coherence, and Compatibility were all high in the favorite place evaluations, but Coherence and Compatibility were reliably higher than Being Away, which was in turn reliably higher than Fascination. Also, PRS subscale scores for the favorite places were reliably higher than those for the central square, which were in turn higher than those for the unpleasant places. Furthermore, differences were also found in self-reported emotional states associated with each place. The discussion suggests ways to develop further mutually reinforcing relations between restorative environments research and research on place identity.
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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. The project was funded, in part, by USDA Forest Service, North Central Experiment Station, Urban Forestry Unit Co-operative Agreements. Abstract An analysis of the underlying similarities between the Eastern meditation tradition and attention restoration theory (ART) provides a basis for an expanded framework for studying directed attention. The focus of the analysis is the active role the individual can play in the preservation and recovery of the directed attention capacity. Two complementary strategies are presented which can help individuals more effectively manage their attentional resource. One strategy involves avoiding unnecessary costs in terms of expenditure of directed attention. The other involves enhancing the effect of restorative opportunities. Both strategies are hypothesized to be more effective if one gains generic knowledge, self knowledge and specific skills. The interplay between a more active form of mental involvement and the more passive approach of meditation appear to have far-reaching ramifications for managing directed attention. Research on mental restoration has focused on the role of the environment, and especially the natural environment. Such settings have been shown to reduce both stress and directed attention fatigue (DAF) (Hartig & Evans, 1993). Far less emphasis, however, has been placed on the possibility of active participation by the individual in need of recovery. A major purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of this mostly neglected component of the restorative process.
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The research reported investigates whether landscape preference is a unitary concept and the role that physical and behavioural expectations for places could play in the cognitive categorization of landscapes into different types. Italian and Australian university students judged two examples of 12 types of scenes from their home environments. Three types of preference judgment were made—overall preference, preference as a place to live and work and preference as a place to visit on a vacation. Participants also classified the scenes as either natural or built. The results of the experiment showed a dominant effect of scene type and variations due to the kind of preference judgment made and to subjects' nationality. For some scene types. preferences differed according to whether the scene was judged to be natural or built. When scenes were judged as built, all three types of preferences were lower than when they were judged as natural. The complex pattern of results is discussed in terms of theoretical issues relating to the boundaries of the landscape category, the role of naturalness in landscape experience and preference and similarities and differences in experience between different cultures and geographic locations.
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An attractive environment is likely to influence house prices. Houses in attractive settings will have an added value over similar, less favourably located houses. This effect is intuitively felt, but does it always occur? Which environmental factors make a location an attractive place to live in? The present study explored the effect of different environmental factors on house prices. The research method was the hedonic pricing method, which uses statistical analysis to estimate that part of a price due to a particular attribute. Nearly 3000 house transactions, in eight towns or regions in the Netherlands, were studied to estimate the effect of environmental attributes on transaction prices. Some of the most salient results were as follows. We found the largest increases in house prices due to environmental factors (up to 28%) for houses with a garden facing water, which is connected to a sizeable lake. We were also able to demonstrate that a pleasant view can lead to a considerable increase in house price, particularly if the house overlooks water (8–10%) or open space (6–12%). In addition, the analysis revealed that house price varies by landscape type. Attractive landscape types were shown to attract a premium of 5–12% over less attractive environmental settings.
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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 experiences. An integrative framework is proposed that places both directed attention and stress in the larger context of human-environment relationships.
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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 preferences. Imagining themselves as attentionally fatigued or fully refreshed, participants (N=101) evaluated recovery, reflection, and social stimulation outcomes. Next, they viewed slides simulating a walk through a forest or an urban center, then rated the likelihood of recovery, reflection, and social stimulation outcomes following such a walk. This procedure was repeated with the second environment. Preference for the forest over the city was twice as strong given attentional fatigue. The greater likelihood of restoration in the natural environment in conjunction with more positive evaluation of recovery when fatigued appears to explain this pattern. The results have implications for environmental preference conceptualizations and our understanding of the relationship between preference and restoration.
Article
Two studies tested the hypothesis that certain positive emotions speed recovery from the cardiovascular sequelae of negative emotions. In Study 1, 60 subjects (Ss) viewed an initial fear-eliciting film, and were randomly assigned to view a secondary film that elicited: (a) contentment; (b) amusement; (c) neutrality; or (d) sadness. Compared to Ss who viewed the neutral and sad secondary films, those who viewed the positive films exhibited more rapid returns to pre-film levels of cardiovascular activation. In Study 2, 72 Ss viewed a film known to elicit sadness. Fifty Ss spontaneously smiled at least once while viewing this film. Compared to Ss who did not smile, those who smiled exhibited more rapid returns to pre-film levels of cardiovascular activation. We discuss these findings in terms of emotion theory and possible health-promoting functions of positive emotions.
Article
The study presented here addresses theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of the issue of group differences in the aesthetic evaluation of natural landscapes. Beauty ratings of an agrarian landscape and five computer simulations of nature development plans in this landscape were collected in a field study. Three different user groups, each consisting of 28 respondents, were distinguished: farmers, residents (nonfarmers) and visiting cyclists. Ratings on predictor variables were given by the respondents themselves, as well as by a group of 12 experts on nature development. Results of multilevel statistical analysis show differences in beauty ratings of nature development plans as a function of user background. Beauty ratings of residents and visitors were positively related to typical characteristics of nature development plans (wetness, roughness and noncultivatedness), while farmers" beauty ratings were negatively related to these characteristics. In each group, beauty ratings were positively related to perceived complexity, coherence, mystery and biodiversity. However, perceptions of these characteristics were found to be highly subjective. Possible explanations of the user-group differences in terms of background variables such as familiarity and education level are discussed, as well as implications for theoretical and management concerns.
Article
We define mental contamination as the process whereby a person has an unwanted response because of mental processing that is unconscious or uncontrollable. This type of bias is distinguishable from the failure to know or apply normative rules of inference and can be further divided into the unwanted consequences of automatic processing and source confusion, which is the confusion of 2 or more causes of a response. Mental contamination is difficult to avoid because it results from both fundamental properties of human cognition (e.g., a lack of awareness of mental processes) and faulty lay beliefs about the mind (e.g., incorrect theories about mental biases). People's lay beliefs determine the steps they take (or fail to take) to correct their judgments and thus are an important but neglected source of biased responses. Strategies for avoiding contamination, such as controlling one's exposure to biasing information, are discussed.
Article
Research on psychological restoration and restorative environments is a needed complement to work on stress and environmental stressors. Two laboratory experiments tested the utility of two restorative environments theories, one concerned with directed attention capacity renewal and the other with stress reduction and associated changes in emotion. Various strategies were employed to distinguish restorative effects from other effects, to limit the role of arousal reduction in attentional restoration, and to begin mapping the time course for the emergence of outcomes. Both experiments tested for differential emotional and performance effects as a function of photographic environmental simulation (natural or urban environment). Across the experiments the natural environment simulation engendered generally more positive emotional self-reports. That consistent performance effects were not found in either study suggests that attentional restoration as reflected in performance is a more time-intensive process.
Nature experience in transactional perspective Psychological foundations of nature experience Behavior and environment: Psychological and geographical approaches (pp. 427–457) Amsterdam: North-Holland Restorative effects of natural environment experience
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Hartig, T., Maris, E., & Staats, H. (1998). On relations between environmental preference and well-being. Paper presented at the 15th IAPS conference, 14-17 July, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
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Brickenkamp, R., & Zillmer, E. (1998). The d2 test of attention (1st US ed. ). Seattle, WA: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.
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Influence of trees on residential property values in Athens, Georgia (USA)
  • Anderson
Aesthetics, affect and cognition
  • Kaplan
The restorative benefits of nature
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Mental contamination and mental correction