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Anger and Stress The Role of Landscape Posters in an Office Setting

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Anger and stress management have become important issues in the modern workplace. One out of four American workers report themselves to be chronically angry, which has been linked to negative outcomes such as retaliatory behavior, revenge, interpersonal aggression, poor work performance, absenteeism, and increased turnover. We hypothesized that people who work in office environments decorated with aesthetically engaging art posters would experience less stress and anger in response to task-related frustration. Two hundred and ten college students were randomly assigned to different office conditions where abstract and nature paintings were hung on the walls. Participants performed four mild anger-provoking computer tasks and then reported their levels of state anger and stress. Results indicate that different office conditions had a significant influence on state anger and stress for males but not for females. Males experienced less state anger and stress when art posters were present. Through mediation analysis, we found that increased proportions of nature paintings decreased state anger because of decreased levels of stress.
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Environment and Behavior
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DOI: 10.1177/0013916506298797
2008 40: 355Environment and Behavior
Byoung-Suk Kweon, Roger S. Ulrich, Verrick D. Walker and Louis G. Tassinary
Setting
Anger and Stress: The Role of Landscape Posters in an Office
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Anger and Stress
The Role of Landscape Posters in
an Office Setting
Byoung-Suk Kweon
University of Michigan
Roger S. Ulrich
Texas A&M University
Verrick D. Walker
Pag e S outher l a n dPage
Louis G. Tassinary
Texas A&M University
Anger and stress management have become important issues in the modern
workplace. One out of four American workers report themselves to be chroni-
cally angry, which has been linked to negative outcomes such as retaliatory
behavior, revenge, interpersonal aggression, poor work performance, absen-
teeism, and increased turnover. We hypothesized that people who work in office
environments decorated with aesthetically engaging art posters would experi-
ence less stress and anger in response to task-related frustration. Two hundred
and ten college students were randomly assigned to different office conditions
where abstract and nature paintings were hung on the walls. Participants per-
formed four mild anger-provoking computer tasks and then reported their levels
of state anger and stress. Results indicate that different office conditions had a
significant influence on state anger and stress for males but not for females.
Males experienced less state anger and stress when art posters were present.
Through mediation analysis, we found that increased proportions of nature paint-
ings decreased state anger because of decreased levels of stress.
Keywords: state anger; stress; landscape; office environments; art posters
Environment and Behavior
Vo l u m e 4 0 N u m b e r 3
May 2008 355-381
© 2008 Sage Publications
10.1177/0013916506298797
http://eab.sagepub.com
hosted at
http://online.sagepub.com
355
Authors’ Note:This research was supported by a grant from the College of Architecture
Research and Interdisciplinary Council at Texas A&M University. Partial results were pre-
sented at the Environment Design Research Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM,
2004. The authors would like to thank the participants in our study. We also thank the two
anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Correspondence concerning this article
should be addressed to Byoung-Suk Kweon (kweonb@umich.edu) and Louis G. Tassinary
(lou@archone.tamu.edu).
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Introduction
Anger in the Workplace
Anger has become increasingly recognized in recent decades as a major
problem in the American workplace. It is common to see in the daily newspa-
per or on the nightly news broadcast a story about an overstressed, disgruntled
employee attacking or even killing coworkers. Indeed, recent studies show that
one of four American workers is chronically angry at work (Gibson & Barsade,
1999), contributing to more than 16,000 threats and 700 attacks in offices
across the United States each work day (Kaufer & Mattman, 2004). Anger has
also been linked to other, more insidious outcomes, such as decreased produc-
tivity, increased absenteeism, ineffective work relationships, and a variety of
health complaints, including anxiety, stress, depression, high blood pressure,
and heart disease (Begley, 1994; Diamond, 1982; Friedman & Roseman, 1974;
Gibson & Barsade, 1999; Neuman & Baron, 1997).
These adverse outcomes are estimated to cost American businesses billions
of dollars each year (Hughes, 2001). As a result, many organizations have
begun to implement programs to address workplace anger. These programs
typically include conflict-resolution training, counseling services, and anger
management workshops (Rai, 2002). Often overlooked in these efforts, how-
ever, is the physical work environment and its impact on anger in the work-
place. Because the physical setting forms the framework in which work
activities occur, it is quite possible that particular features are related to feel-
ings of anger. Understanding these relationships, then, could go a long way
toward ameliorating the problem of workplace anger and violence.
But what is anger, and what are the eliciting factors? Spielberger (1996)
describes two types of anger: state and trait. In general, the former is a tem-
porary emotional state that consists of feelings of annoyance, rage, or both,
with concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system (Spielberger,
1996). The primary external causes of state anger are obstructions to goal-
directed behavior and acts perceived to be unjust. People also experience
anger when they are harassed, assaulted, or attacked (Spielberger &
Sydeman, 1994; Törestad, 1990). Trait anger, on the other hand, refers to
a disposition over time that influences whether situations are perceived
as anger provoking, as well as how often state anger is experienced.
Individuals high in trait anger “are likely to perceive a wide range of situa-
tions as anger-provoking, and to respond to such situations with elevations
in state anger” (Spielberger, 1996, p. 7).
In general, younger individuals such as adolescents and college students
have higher state and trait anger levels than older persons (Spielberger,
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1996). Gender plays a distinctive role as well. Men and women experience
state anger differently, with men typically experiencing higher levels of
state anger in the same situations (Forgays, Forgays, & Spielberger, 1997;
van der Ploeg, 1988).
Environments and Anger
Research on environments and anger has focused primarily on ambient
characteristics of public spaces; very little is known about the impact of the
physical work environment on anger. Ozone levels and higher daily tem-
perature have been found to be positively associated with family distur-
bances, as well as assaults against persons (Rotton & Frey, 1985). There is
also evidence that persons living in noisy neighborhoods tend to be more
annoyed than persons living in quiet neighborhoods (Evans, Hygge, &
Bullinger, 1995). Other research has related crowding to hostility, increased
defensive postures, and negative remarks (Evans, 1979). One study with a
closer link to office environments found that high room temperature and air
pollution were linearly linked to anger (Baron & Bell, 1975; Rotton, Frey,
Barry, Milligan, & Fitzpatrick, 1979).
A growing number of studies suggest that exposure to natural elements like
water and trees—whether it is simulated or actual—tends to mitigate anger.
Residents of buildings surrounded by vegetation, for example, reported less
aggression against their partners than residents of buildings surrounded by
built elements (Kuo & Sullivan, 2001). Similarly, people who viewed video-
tapes of natural settings reported lower scores for the Anger and Aggression
factor of the Zuckerman Inventory of Personal Reactions than persons view-
ing urban environments (Ulrich et al., 1991). Feelings of anger also decreased
among people who had walked through a nature reserve but increased among
people who had walked in urban settings without vegetation (Hartig, Evans,
Jamner, Davis, & Gärling, 2003). Finally, nature scenes, with and without
coordinated nature sounds, have been found to reduce agitated and aggressive
behaviors (Ulrich, 1979; Whall et al., 1997).
Stress in the Workplace
Aside from anger, stress is another well-documented workplace problem.
Stress is widely defined as the process by which an individual responds to a
situation that is challenging, demanding, or threatening to his or her well-
being (Baum, Fleming, & Singer, 1985). Recent surveys indicate that 40% of
U.S. workers experience stress in their workplace, and 75% of workers believe
that today’s workers have more on-the-job stress than workers of a generation
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ago (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH], n.d.).
Wo rker s who are m or e s tr es se d f ee l l es s c omp et ent , w he n c om pa re d w it h
workers who experience less stress (Bhagat & Allie, 1989), make fewer ratio-
nal decisions (Keinan, 1987), and want to quit their jobs (Chen & Spector,
1992). Stress is also related to absenteeism, lack of productivity, and increased
turnover (Jackson, 1983), and can lead to sabotage, interpersonal aggression,
hostility, poor health, and even injury (Chen & Spector, 1992; NIOSH, n.d.).
Thus, stress in the workplace poses a threat not only to the well-being of work-
ers but also to the health of organizations.
Environments and Stress
Several investigations have found that exposure to nature such as trees,
grass, and flowers can effectively reduce stress (Ulrich, 1979, 1981; Ulrich
et al., 1991). A prospective controlled experiment showed that stressed
blood donors had lower pulse rates and blood pressure on days when a tele-
vision in a waiting room displayed a nature videotape compared with days
when an urban videotape or daytime television was played (Ulrich, Simons,
& Miles, 2003). Individuals sitting in a room with views of trees experi-
enced more rapid declines in diastolic blood pressure, indicating greater
stress reduction than persons sitting in a viewless room (Hartig et al., 2003).
Individuals exposed to nature-dominated roadside environments, compared
with those exposed to built-dominated roadsides, subsequently evidenced
less physiological (sympathetic) reactivity when they worked on challeng-
ing tasks (Parsons, Tassinary, Ulrich, Hebl, & Grossman-Alexander, 1998).
By contrast, ambiguous and abstract environmental features have been
shown to increase negative emotions such as aggression and anxiety and to
adversely impact health. For example, heart surgery patients exposed to pic-
tures of water and trees had lower anxiety and required fewer doses of strong
painkillers than those who were exposed to abstract pictures (Ulrich, Lundén,
& Eltinge, 1993). In another study, patients were observed to vandalize abstract
pictures on walls of a mental health unit (Ulrich, 1986). Although certain
abstract pictures were torn down, thrown on the floor, and smashed, there were
no observed instances where nature pictures were the targets of aggressive acts.
Surprisingly, little research has been devoted specifically to studying the
benefits of nature in an office setting. One study found that people with
views of nature from their office desks had lower levels of job stress, fewer
health problems, and higher levels of life satisfaction than people with
views of built environment views or with no outdoor views (Kaplan, Talbot,
& Kaplan, 1988). A European study of employees in different workplaces
found that window views of nature buffered job stress and increased
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reported health-related well-being (Leather, Cox, & Farnsworth, 1990).
Similarly, another study suggested that office workers with nature views
have fewer ailments, are less frustrated, and are more satisfied with and
enthusiastic about their jobs (Kaplan, 1995).
Individual Differences
Gender and individual differences have been found to moderate many of
the relationships described above. Taylor, Kuo, and Sullivan (2002) found
that green space outside the home helped girls lead a self-disciplined
lifestyle but did not help boys. In certain contexts, men have been found to
prefer complex and high-tension paintings, whereas women prefer quiet,
romantic nature scenes (Zuckerman, Ulrich, & McLaughlin, 1993). These
researchers also found that high-sensation seekers liked tension-evoking
nature paintings, whereas low-sensation seekers liked realistic portrayals of
nature. Finally, Hartig and his colleagues (2003) recently observed that
males and females experienced sad emotions differently in response to nat-
ural and urban environments.
Anger and Stress Links
Previous research indicated that state anger is correlated with state anxiety
and state curiosity (Spielberger, 1996), but the relationship between anger and
stress is not clear. Some research findings indicate that stress might be a prece-
dent of anger. For example, stressful working positions increase both blood
pressure and frustration (Bongard & al’Absi, 2003). Others indicate that anger
might be a precedent of stress. Expressing anger is highly stress-inducing
(Tavris, 1989). Previous research has shown that depressed people can have
strong feelings of anger (fight) and desires to run away (flight), but these
fight/flight defenses can become blocked, inhibited, and arrested, increasing
stress (Gibert & Gilbert, 2003). The direction of the relationship between
anger and stress has not been determined and merits further investigation.
Theoretical Frameworks
There are two primary alternative explanations of how visual environments
affect anger and stress. Evolutionary and distraction theories can suggest how
the specific content of visual surroundings can lead to positive benefits.
Evolutionary theory has been used routinely to understand the positive
outcomes of natural surroundings. For example, it has been claimed that
positive responses to nature have a partly genetic basis (Appleton, 1996;
Kaplan & Kaplan, 1995; Ulrich et al., 1991). The general argument is that the
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human species has evolved within natural environments over a long period
of time and has relied on nature for such things as gaining shelter, food, as
well as aesthetic pleasure (Appleton, 1996). Consistent with this reasoning,
settings that contain nature are consistently preferred to settings that do not
contain nature (Browne, 1992; Getz, Karow, & Kielbaso, 1982; Herzog,
Kaplan, & Kaplan, 1976; Sullivan, 1994). Previous research also found that
unthreatening forms of nature help to reduce stress more than built envi-
ronments (Ulrich et al., 1991, 2003). These findings indicate that exposure
to natural elements plays an important role in reducing stress and anger.
Nature also has been shown to contribute to recovery from mental fatigue
resulting from sustained directed attention. Mentally fatigued individuals
suffer from (a) a lowered ability to concentrate, think clearly, and solve
problems; (b) heightened irritability and a disinclination to be helpful or
even civil; (c) an inability to get along in the world; and (d) a tendency to
be accident-prone (Herzog, 1997). Lowering levels of mental fatigue by
exposing oneself to nature would thus be expected to reduce levels of frus-
tration and anger.
Distraction theories provide an alternative perspective that relies on the pre-
sumed innate tendency of all positive events, natural or otherwise, to both spon-
taneously attract attention and concurrently decrease the potency of negative
events. For example, directing attention to a more pleasant and positive experi-
ence “sidetracks” attention from an unpleasant experience such as concurrent
pain (Fernandez, 1986). Kaplan and Kaplan (1995) explain that “the nervous
system seems to be structured in such a way that pleasure and pain tend to
inhibit each other; thus the experience of pleasure tends to reduce or eliminate
pain” (p. 189). Coss (1973) also indicates in his cutoff hypothesis that people
distract themselves by switching attention between modalities to avoid uncom-
fortable situations. Consistent with this line of reasoning, distraction techniques
have been used effectively to divert patients’ pain during invasive medical pro-
cedures (Diette, Lechtzin, Haponik, Devrotes, & Rubin, 2003).
Hypotheses
Distraction research implies that visual displays such as art posters
would redirect people’s attention away from negative emotions. People in
an office setting with art posters are likely to experience less state anger and
stress than those without any art posters. Also, based on evolutionary
theory, nature is expected to influence various states of well-being in indi-
viduals. However, we know very little about how nature affects people’s
anger and stress in everyday situations—and virtually nothing is known
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about its effects in stressful, angering work situations. The evolutionary the-
oretical perspective strongly suggests the possibility, however, that scenes of
nature could play a role in reducing peoples’ state anger and stress in an office
setting. People in an office setting with nature posters may experience less
state anger and stress than those with no art or abstract posters.
The purpose of our research is to investigate the possible effects of
nature and/or abstract posters in an office setting on state anger and stress
for both males and females. Another purpose is to explore the interrela-
tionships among environmental settings, stress, and state anger. Our spe-
cific hypotheses are as follows:
1. Participants experience less state anger as the office condition changes
from no art posters to all abstract posters, mixed poster types, and all
nature posters.
2. Participants experience less stress as the office condition changes from
no art posters to all abstract posters, mixed poster types, and all nature
posters.
3. Participants with higher trait anger experience higher state anger and
stress than those with lower trait anger.
The direction of our first three hypotheses is clear, based on the litera-
ture review; however, neither the extant literature nor any theories provide
a strong basis for making predictions as to the direction of the relationship
between stress and state anger. Consequently, our last hypothesis embraces
two possible directions:
4. (a) Participants experience lower levels of state anger mediated through
reduced stress as the office condition changes from no art posters to all
abstract posters, mixed poster types, and all nature posters. (b) Participants
experience lower levels of stress mediated through reduced state anger as
the office condition changes from no art posters to all abstract posters,
mixed poster types, and all nature posters.
Methods
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of art posters on
participants’ levels of state anger and stress in a laboratory room similar to
many office workplaces. We created four office conditions: an office with
abstract posters on the wall, an office with nature posters on the wall, an
office with both nature and abstract posters, and finally an office with no
posters on the wall. We changed the office conditions randomly prior to
each run of the experiment.
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Setting
The office setting was created in the Environmental Psychophysiology
Laboratory at Texas A&M University. The windowless space had an area of
approximately 167 square feet (9-6× 17-6). Four posters were hung on
two office walls—two posters on each wall (see Figure 1). A small black-
board was mounted on a third wall. A computer desk and chair were ori-
ented toward the poster walls, equipped with an 18-in. color monitor,
keyboard, mouse pad, and mouse. The room also had other generic office
furniture such as bookshelves and file cabinets.
Participants
A total of 210 psychology students participated for partial course credit.
Participants were randomly assigned to each office condition: 36 participants
in an office with no art posters, 36 participants in an office with abstract
posters, 105 participants in an office with both abstract and nature posters,
and 33 participants in an office with nature posters. In the condition with both
abstract and nature posters (105 participants), there were 35 participants with
362 Environment and Behavior
Figure 1
The Office Arranged With a Computer Desk and Chair Oriented
Toward Four Posters Hanging on Two Adjacent Walls
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one abstract and three nature posters, 34 participants with two abstract and
two nature posters, and 36 with three abstract and one nature posters. Among
the 210 participants, 100 were female and 110 were male. Participants ranged
from 17 to 25 years in age, with an average age of 19.3.
Variables
Independent variables.The independent variables consisted of four
different office conditions. We created three different office conditions
using a total of 12 art posters: 6 nature posters and 6 abstract posters (see
Appendix A). The posters were randomly selected to create (a) an office
with abstract posters, (b) an office with nature posters, and (c) an office
with both abstract and nature posters. The total number of posters used in
each condition was four. The fourth office condition did not have any
posters at all. The following posters were chosen by the authors after view-
ing thousands of posters based on the following matching criteria: com-
plexity, color, size, composition, and amount of water and vegetation.
Nature Posters Abstract Posters
“Ile St. Martin,” by Claude Monet “Blue II,” by Joan Miro
“Aft er th e Ra in s,” by “Phenomena: Continental Shelf,” by
Allan Stephenson Paul Jenkins
“Reflections of Spring,” by “Composizione,” by Joan Miro
Joseph Fontaine “Improvisation 31,” by
“A Riv er T hr ough the Woo ds ,” Wass il y Ka nd in sk y
by Christian Zacho “Signal Field,” by Gregg Robinson
“Vetheuil in Summer,” by “Composition Lyrique,” by
Claude Monet Wass il y Ka nd in sk y
Autumn Tapestry,” by
Norma Forsberg
Dependent variables. The dependent variables were self-reported
state anger and stress. State anger was measured by Spielberger’s (1996)
10-item State-Anger Scale. Examples of state-anger items include “I am
furious,” “I feel like hitting someone,” and “I am burned up.” The partic-
ipants were asked to report the intensity of their feelings “right now, that
is, at this moment” by rating themselves on the following 4-point Likert
scale: not at all,somewhat so,moderately so,and very much so. Unrotated
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factor analysis of the 10-item scale generated a single factor. The relia-
bility coefficient (alpha) of the anger factor is .88, and the proportion of
variance accounted for in the factor is 51%.
Stress was measured by a 10-item Stress Adjective Checklist (King,
Burrows, & Stanley, 1983). The reliability coefficient (alpha) of the stress
scale was .86. Examples of stress adjectives include calm,tense, and dis-
tressed. Four categories of response scale were provided for each adjec-
tive: definitely do not feel,do not feel,slightly feel, and definitely feel.
We a ls o v id eo ta pe d p ar ti ci pa nts ’ b eh av io rs re ga rd in g h ow t he y r es po nd ed
to art posters such as looking at the posters, touching the posters, approaching
the posters, and glancing at the posters. Their behaviors were coded into each
category and their frequencies were counted.
Other variable. Trait anger was included in this study to assess the true
effects of office conditions on state anger after controlling the effects of
trait anger on state anger. It was measured by Spielberger’s (1996) 10-item
Trait-Anger Scale. The range of reliability coefficients (alpha) of the Trait-
Anger Scale was .70-.89. Examples of trait-anger items include “I have a
fiery temper,” “I am a hot-headed person,” and “I get angry when I’m
slowed down by others’ mistakes.” The participants were asked to describe
themselves “in general” for each trait-anger statement on the following 4-
point scale: almost never,sometimes,often, and almost always.
Procedures
An experimenter welcomed each participant, explained to him or her the
experimental procedure, and obtained from each a signed consent form.
The experimenter told the participants that we were conducting research on
performance of a variety of computer tasks. Participants were then seated
at the computer station in the experimental room and asked to respond to a
series of questions (appearing on the computer screen) about their general
health and personal background. Afterward, each participant completed
two experimental sessions. Each session consisted of two anger- and stress-
provoking computer tasks, 5 (of 10) state anger questions, and 5 (of 10)
stress questions. There were two 2-min breaks: one at the end of each
experimental session. After the second break, each participant answered
questions on their trait anger.
Participants were never asked to look at the posters. The posters were in
the participants’ peripheral view while they focused on the computer tasks.
The posters were simply placed on the wall as background decorations.
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Two f em a le u niv er si t y s t ud en ts r an t he e xp er im en t. N ei th er w as i nf or m ed of
the experimental hypotheses. The students were trained to follow the same
experimental protocol, to increase experimenter interreliability and to mitigate
potential experimenter effects. They also ran approximately 20 practice ses-
sions monitored by the authors before collecting the actual data. Participants
entered responses directly into the computer, where they were stored in data
files. This was done to eliminate the possibility of errors because of data entry.
Computer Tasks
Four computer tasks were designed and used as stressors to provoke stress
and anger. These tasks, which are described in Appendix B, were adapted from
pencil-and-paper anger-provoking tests used in previous studies to cause
anger through blocked goal attainment, insult, injustice, personal threat, and
loud noise: the Automated Teller Machine task (Muter, Furedy, Vincent, &
Pelcowitz, 1993), Angle-Matching task (Brissett & Nowicki, 1973), Letter
Detection test (Hodapp, Heiligtag, & Stoermer, 1990), and Etch-A-Sketch
task (Zurawski & Houston, 1983). All these high attention absorbing computer
tasks were very difficult to accomplish. They also provided various negative
feedbacks and were often accompanied by loud beeps.
Results
The results section consists of five parts. First, we compare our sample
means and standard deviations to a normative sample. Second, we report
descriptive statistics for the different office conditions and the correlations
among state anger, trait anger, and stress. Third, we report preliminary analy-
sis that examines the interactions between gender and office conditions on
state anger and stress. Fourth, we carry out an analysis of variance to test the
effects of office environments and trait anger on state anger and stress for both
male and female participants separately. Finally, we report the result of a mul-
tistep mediation test among office conditions, stress, and state anger.
Normative Sample Comparison
Means, standard deviations, 95% lower- and upper-confidence intervals,
minimums, and maximums for state anger and stress are reported in Table 1.
The mean for our study sample for state anger (M=14.68) is higher than for
other college students (M=14.10). However, the normative value mean is
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within the 95% confidence interval of our study sample. The mean for trait
anger (M=18.29) is significantly lower than the normative sample
(M=20.22). In addition, the mean for stress (M=3.26) is significantly
higher than the normative value (M=2.38). Our sample is roughly compa-
rable to previous samples of state anger and stress. The mean differences
366 Environment and Behavior
Table 1
Descriptive Statistics for Major Dependent Variables
Normative
Value Study Sample
Mean Mean SD 95% CI Lower 95% CI Upper Min Max
State anger 14.10a14.68 5.20 13.97 15.39 10 39
Trait a nger 20.22a18.29 5.33 17.56 19.01 10 34
Stress 2.38b3.26 2.77 2.88 3.63 0 9
a. College students (Spielberger, 1996).
b. Diverse groups of civilians, army personnel, and patients (King, Burrows, & Stanley, 1983).
Table 2
Means and Standard Deviations (SD) for State Anger and Stress for
Different Office Conditions
State Anger Stress
Office Male Female Total Male Female Total
Conditions Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD)Mean (SD)Mean (SD)
No poster 18.45 (7.41) 13.00 (2.78) 16.03 (6.38) 4.50 (2.44) 3.06 (2.77) 4.02 (2.66)
Abstract posters 14.61 (4.69) 15.33 (6.04) 14.97 (5.34) 3.44 (2.96) 4.17 (3.85) 3.79 (3.42)
Mixed 14.51 (4.60) 14.19 (5.47) 14.35 (5.03) 2.30 (2.15) 3.67 (2.78) 2.92 (2.50)
Nature poster 14.63 (4.40) 13.00 (3.06) 13.94 (3.92) 2.74 (2.38) 3.07 (3.15) 3.03 (2.75)
Table 3
Intercorrelations Among Major Variables
12
State anger 1.00
Trait a nger .38**** 1.00
Stress .63**** .25***
***p< .001. ****p< .0001.
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for state anger and stress may have been caused by the four computer tasks
that were used in this study as stressors. The normative tests for state and
trait anger did not have any stressor, whereas the normative tests for stress
had a nondemanding visual search detection task before completing the
Stress-Arousal Checklist (King et al., 1983; Spielberger, 1996).
Descriptive and Correlational Statistics
The means and standard deviations for both state anger and stress are
presented in Table 2. The descriptive statistics indicated that male and
female participants have somewhat different responses to the various office
conditions. Male participants experience the highest levels of state anger
and stress in an office setting with no art posters at all, whereas female par-
ticipants experience the highest levels of state anger and stress in an office
setting with all abstract posters. Also, male participants experience the
lowest levels of state anger and stress in an office setting with mixed art
posters, whereas female participants experience the lowest levels of state
anger and stress in an office setting with all nature posters.
Correlations among the three dependent variables are reported in Table 3.
State anger is positively correlated with trait anger (r=.38, p<.0001) and
stress (r=.63, p<.0001). Stress is also positively correlated with trait
anger (r=.25, p<.001).
Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 367
12
14
16
18
No Art
Abstract
Mixed
Nature
No Art
Abstract
Mixed
Nature
State Anger
Males
Females
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
Stress
Males
Females
Figure 2
The Graphs of State Anger and Stress by Office Condition Show
Significant Gender Effects, as Well as Interaction Effects Between
Office Conditions and Gender
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368 Environment and Behavior
Preliminary Analysis
The effects of office conditions on state anger and stress should be ana-
lyzed separately for males and females. This determination comes from the
following preliminary data analysis. Significant main gender effects were
found, as well as interaction effects between office conditions and gender
(see Figure 2). It seems that male participants experience the highest state
anger and stress in no art office conditions, whereas female participants
experience the lowest state anger and stress in the same office condi-
tion. Our decision to separate the data by gender is also supported by
the findings of previous research (Forgays et al., 1997; Taylor et al., 2002;
van der Ploeg, 1988; Zuckerman et al., 1993).
To in vesti ga te wh et he r male s a nd fe ma le s r espon de d d if feren tl y t o t he
posters in the office, we ran a ttest. The mean frequency of looking for
males is 8.90 (SD =5.15), and the mean for females is 8.06 (SD =5.33).
This revealed no gender differences in how much attention is paid to the
posters or wall (in the no poster condition) in terms of looking, touching,
approaching, and glancing at the posters or walls, t(196) =–1.13, p=ns
(two tailed). We also investigated how frequency of looking influences both
genders’ state anger and stress for different office conditions (see Figure 3).
Both males and females were engaged in more frequent looking behaviors
in office conditions with posters than office conditions with no posters at
all. For females, there is a suggestion that looking behaviors are positively
related to state anger and stress, but the relationships are not significant. For
males, it appears that looking behaviors are negatively related to state anger
and stress, but only the relationship between state anger and looking behav-
iors is significant (β=–.21, p=.04).
The Effects of Office Conditions and Trait Anger on State
Anger and Stress for Males and Females
We invest ig at ed t he p os si bl e effe ct s of d if fe rent off ice set ti ng s, a nd t ra it
anger on state anger and stress. To better understand the interaction effects
between office conditions and gender on state anger and stress, we ran a
two-way analysis of variance for both male and female separately. Our first
hypothesis is that participants experience less state anger and stress as the
office condition changes from no art posters to all abstract posters, mixed
poster types, and all nature posters. Our second hypothesis states that par-
ticipants with higher trait anger experience higher state anger and stress
than those with lower trait anger.
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Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 369
0
5
10
15
20
8642010 12
Poster Looking
State Anger
Male
Female
No poster Abstract Mixed Nature
86420 10 12
0
1
2
3
4
5
Poster Looking
Stress
Male
Abstract Mixed Nature
Female
No poster
Figure 3
The Influence of Looking Behaviors on State Anger and Stress for
Different Office Conditions
As seen in Table 4, we found that different office conditions do not influ-
ence female participants’ state anger and stress. Only trait anger signifi-
cantly influenced participants’ levels of state anger. For example, female
participants with high trait anger experience significantly higher levels of
state anger than those with low trait anger.
For male participants, office conditions have a significant influence on
state anger, F(3, 102) =3.09, p=.03, and a significant influence on stress,
F(3, 102) =4.84, p=.004 (see Table 5). The LSD post hoc comparisons
reveal that male participants in an office with no art posters experience
significantly higher levels of state anger than those in an office with
abstract art (=3.84, p=.02), mixed art (=–3.94, p=.003), and
nature art posters (=–3.82, p=.02). In other words, male participants
experience less anger when there are art posters (any type) in the office
setting than when there are no art posters at all. Also, results show that
male participants in an office with no art posters experience significantly
higher levels of stress than those in an office with mixed art (=–2.20,
p=.001) and all nature art posters (=–1.76, p=.02). It seems that as
long as there are some nature posters in an office, male participants expe-
rience less stress.
Trait anger also significantly affected male participants’ levels of state
anger F(1, 102) =9.26, p=.003 and stress F(1, 102) =7.29, p=.008. In
other words, male participants with high trait anger experienced signifi-
cantly higher levels of state anger and stress than those with low trait
anger.
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Mediation Models Testing Office Conditions,
Stress, and State Anger for Male Participants
Because the existing literature does not specify the clear direction of the
relationship between state anger and stress, we ran two mediational analy-
ses. The first analysis designates stress as a mediator between office condi-
tion and state anger. The second analysis indicates that state anger precedes
stress. In other words, art posters in an office setting help to decrease par-
ticipants’ levels of state anger, which in turn affect stress.
Does stress precede state anger? For the first mediational analysis, we
hypothesize that male participants experience lower levels of state anger
through reduced stress as the office condition changes from no art posters to
all abstract posters, mixed poster types, and all nature posters. In other words,
art posters in an office setting help to decrease people’s levels of anger because
of decreased levels of stress. Baron and Kenny (1986) indicate that a success-
ful mediation requires the following three conditions: (a) the independent vari-
able must significantly affect the mediator in the first regression analysis, (b)
the independent variable must significantly affect the dependent variable in the
second regression analysis, and (c) the mediator must significantly affect the
dependent variable while the effects of the independent variable on the depen-
dent variable must be zero to be a perfect mediator in the third multiple regres-
sion analysis. For a partial mediator, the independent variable must be
significantly less in the third analysis than in the second. These mediation
effects are tested using ordinary least square regression analyses in the method
prescribed by Baron and Kenny (1986) and Evans and Lepore (1997). To show
mediation effects, the independent variable (office conditions) must be a sig-
nificant predictor of possible mediators (stress) and the dependent variable
(state anger), respectively. As we see in the first and second columns of Table
6, these two steps have been satisfied; office conditions are significantly
related to stress (β=–.31, p<.001), as well as state anger (β=–.20, p<.05)
independently.
The next step in the mediation test is to conduct a multiple regression
using the independent variable and the potential mediating variables to
predict the dependent variable. In this particular case, the potential media-
tor (stress) must significantly predict the dependent variable (state anger)
while the effects of office conditions are reduced to an insignificant level.
Accordingly, we ran a multiple regression, using office conditions and
stress to predict state anger. As can be seen in the third column of Table 6,
the possible mediator (stress) significantly predicts state anger (β=.73,
370 Environment and Behavior
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Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 371
Table 4
Analysis of Variance of State Anger and Stress As a Function of
Office Conditions and Trait Anger for Female Participants
State Anger Stress
Source df F ηPower FηPower
1. Office conditions 3 1.78 .22 .44 .65 .14 .18
2. Trait anger 1 5.10* .22 .60 .96 .09 .15
1 × 2 3 2.01 .24 .49 .65 .14 .18
Residual 92
*p< .05.
Table 5
Analysis of Variance of State Anger and Stress As a Function of
Office Conditions and Trait Anger for Male Participants
State Anger Stress
Source df F ηPower FηPower
1. Office conditions 3 3.09* .27 .71 4.84** .34 .91
2. Trait anger 1 9.26** .28 .87 7.29** .24 .77
1 × 2 3 .32 .09 .11 .21 .07 .09
Residual 102
*p<.05. **p<.01.
p<.0001), whereas the effects of office conditions reduced to almost zero
(β=.03, p=ns). Thus, stress mediates the relationship between office
conditions and state anger. These results indicate that office conditions
affect participants’levels of stress, which in turn affects state anger. In other
words, art poster changes from no art posters to all abstract posters, mixed
poster types, and all nature posters in office settings help to decrease
people’s levels of anger because of decreased levels of stress.
Does state anger precede stress? For the second mediational analysis,
we hypothesized that male participants experience lower levels of stress
through reduced state anger as the office condition changes from no art
posters to all abstract posters, mixed poster types, and all nature posters.
The mediation effects of state anger on the relationship between office con-
ditions and stress can only be sustained if the following three relationships
are satisfied: (a) office conditions must significantly affect state anger,
(b) office conditions must significantly affect stress, (c) state anger must
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372 Environment and Behavior
significantly affect stress while the office conditions regression coefficient
must be zero to be a perfect mediator (or significantly less than the coeffi-
cient in second regression to be a partial mediator).
As can be seen in Table 7, office conditions are significantly related to
state anger (β=–.20, p<.05). Second, office conditions are significantly
related to stress (β=–.31, p=.0009). Finally, as can be seen in the third
column of Table 7, state anger is significantly related to stress (β=–.69,
p<.001); however, the effects of office conditions are not reduced to 0 or
an insignificant level (β=–.18, p<.01). Consequently, state anger fails to
mediate the relationship between office conditions and stress.
In summary, we empirically assessed the direction of the relationship
among office conditions, state anger, and stress and concluded that the most
conservative explanation for our results is that stress mediates the relation-
ship between office conditions and state anger. Conversely, state anger does
not mediate the relationship between office conditions and stress.
Table 6
Stress Mediates the Relationship Between Office Conditions and State
Anger for Male Participants
Regression 1 Regression 2 Regression 3
Stress State Anger State Anger
Variables B SE B βBSE BβBSE B β
Office conditions –.78 .23 –.31*** –1.01 .48 –.20* .16 .36 .03
Stress 1.50 .14 .73****
R2.10 .04 .52
*p<.05. **p<.01. ***p<.001. ****p <.0001.
Table 7
State Anger Fails to Mediate the Relationship Between Office
Conditions and Stress for Male Participants
Regression 1 Regression 2 Regression 3
State Anger Stress Stress
Variables BSE BβBSE B βBSE B β
Office conditions –1.01 .48 –.20* –.78 .23 –.31*** –.44 .17 –.18**
State anger .34 .03 .69****
R20.04 .10 .55
*p<.05. **p<.01. ***p<.001. ****p <.0001.
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Discussion
This study investigated the possible effects of art posters in an office set-
ting on state anger and stress. More specifically, we examined differences
in state anger and stress when office settings included posters with abstract
art, nature art, mixed abstract and nature art, and no posters at all. Results
clearly indicated that trait anger, gender, the existence or absence of art
posters, and the content of art posters all play important roles in affecting
state anger and stress in an office setting.
Different office conditions had a significant influence on state anger and
stress for male participants but not for female participants. One possible
explanation for the lack of a relationship between different office condi-
tions and female participants’ state anger and stress is that females experi-
ence their state anger and stress differently from males. Forgays et al.
(1997) found that expressing anger is a more distinctive and significant
decision for females than for males. In other words, females are likely to
express anger less readily than males. Moreover, the gender differences
within normative college student samples were substantial. Female college
students have a much lower state anger score (M=12.30) than their male
counterparts (M=15.89) (Spielberger, 1996). Another explanation may be
that our anger-provoking tasks were more effective for males than for
females. However, we have no data to support this explanation. Future
research should examine how females’ state anger and stress are influenced
by different office conditions with different anger-provoking procedures
and different environmental stimuli.
For males, we found that participants in an office with no art posters
experienced significantly higher levels of state anger than those in an
office with abstract art, mixed art, and nature art posters. In other words,
male participants experienced less state anger when there were art
posters (of any type) in the office setting than when there were no art
posters at all. In this finding, both abstract and nature posters were pos-
itive distractions and could have sidetracked participants’ attention away
from their concurrent state anger. This finding is somewhat conflicting
with previous research findings. Abstract paintings and sculpture were
found to have a negative influence on people’s behaviors and emotions
(McLaughlin, Beebe, Hirshfield, Lindia, & Gubbbanc, 1996; Ulrich,
1986; Ulrich et al., 1993). One possible explanation for the abstract
posters being positive distractions is that many of our abstract posters
were playful, curvilinear, inspired by nature, and more organic than geometric
formations.
Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 373
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374 Environment and Behavior
Also, results show that male participants in an office with no art posters
experience significantly higher levels of stress than those in an office with
mixed art and all nature art posters. It seems that as long as there are at least
some nature posters in an office, male participants experience less stress.
This finding is consistent with many research findings that test evolution-
ary theory. Exposure to nature slides, views, pictures, parks, or wilderness
has been found to reduce stress (Kaplan, 1995; Kaplan et al., 1988; Ulrich,
1979, 1981; Ulrich et al., 1991).
We f ou nd th at s tr ess m ed ia te d t he r elati on sh ip betw ee n off ic e con di ti on s
and state anger. In other words, office conditions affect levels of stress,
which in turn affects state anger. Stress has been an important final outcome
variable in scientific environment and behavior research. By extending the
path to anger, this research makes an important contribution to the environ-
ment and behavior research community. By documenting this systematic
link in an office setting, these findings may help to create a less stressful
and more peaceful workplace setting.
Conclusion
Stress and anger in the workplace have been a threat to employees and
employers, as well as to society. This study investigated how different
office conditions influence state anger and stress. We found that nature and
abstract art posters have a significant influence on state anger and stress for
male participants but not for female participants. Male participants experi-
enced less state anger when there are art posters on the wall of the office
setting than when no art posters are present. They also experienced less
stress when there were mixed abstract and nature art posters or all nature
art posters. We also found a systematic link between office conditions,
stress, and state anger. Stress mediated the relationship between office con-
ditions and state anger. In other words, people tend to be less stressed in
offices with art posters and, as a result, experience decreased levels of anger
(i.e., are less likely to become angry). This (stress- and anger-reducing)
effect of posters tends to be greatest when nature content is present in the
posters. A large percentage of Americans experience stress in their work-
place. One simple way to reduce their state anger and stress may be to hang
some nature art posters on the wall.
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Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 375
Reflections of Spring - Fontaine
Vetheuil in Summer - Monet Autumn Tapestry - Forsberg
A River through the Woods - Zacho
After the Rains -Stephenson
Ile St, Martin - Monet
Appendix A
Nature and Abstract Art Posters
Nature Posters
(continued)
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376 Environment and Behavior
Abstract Posters
Blue II - Miro Phenomena: Continental Shelf - Jenkins
Composizione - Miro Improvisation 31 - Kandinsky
Signal Field - Robinson Composition Lyrique - Kandinsky
Appendix A (continued)
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Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 377
Appendix B
Computer Task Descriptions
Automated Teller Machine Task
This task was based on automated teller machines that can be found at most banks.
Participants in this research conducted some transactions such as deposit, with-
drawal, and transfer. The system was user-hostile, and it involved negative feedback
such as “You are TOO SLOW” with a loud beep when participants had not com-
pleted their transactions within a short time limit. It also provided vague instructions
such as “UNPACK BYTES” to confuse participants.
Angle-Matching Task
The task consists of 28, 1 × 1 square inch example cards with different angles (5-degree
intervals) on the bottom of the computer screen, and a 2 × 2 square inch instruction
card with a target angle on the top of the computer screen. The angles were rotated
in different directions, and the sides had unequal lengths. Participants were required
to choose angles from the example cards that matched the target angle on the
instruction card. However, none of the angles on the example cards matched the tar-
get angle on the instruction card exactly. Participants received screen messages dur-
ing the task informing them that their answers were wrong and at the end of the task
informing them that their performance was under average.
Letter Detection Test
The task consisted of a moving train of letters B–F, proceeding from right to left or
left to right on a computer screen. For each trial, a target letter was defined. At the
occurrence of a target letter, participants needed to place the cursor on the target
letter. This task was difficult because of the quick movement of the letters. In addi-
tion, participants received a mild sound stimulus. Participants were told that this
noise would go away if their task performance was superior to that of a comparable
student sample. However, the noise was not removed.
Object Tracing Task
The task was to ultimately trace an eight-pointed star using the mouse on a com-
puter screen within a short period of time. It is based on the Etch-A-Sketch task
(Zurawski & Houston, 1983). The mouse was programmed to move the cursor in
random directions other than the standard mouse direction and to occasionally
freeze. Also, screen messages were programmed to provide negative feedback such
as “You are 35% accurate, whereas other participants typically were 75% accurate.
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378 Environment and Behavior
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Kweon et al. / Anger and Stress 381
Byoung-Suk Kweon is a research investigator at the Institute for Social Research and an
adjunct assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the
University of Michigan. She conducts interdisciplinary research that involves understanding
human-environment relationships. Her research focuses on how natural and built environ-
ments influence people’s well-being such as stress, social integration, neighborhood satisfac-
tion, physical activities, and active transportation.
Roger S. Ulrich is the Rita and Craig Beale Professor of Health Facilities Design in the
College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, where he is also a professor in the
Department of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.
His research addresses the effects of experiences with built and natural environments on
psychological well-being, stress, and health outcomes.
Verrick D. Walker is an architectural programmer and planner with PageSoutherlandPage, an
architecture and engineering firm in Houston, Texas. His professional activities have included
strategic consulting, facility programming and planning, and land planning services on a range
of science/technology, health care, education, and corporate/commercial projects in the United
States and abroad. His research activities have focused on examining how visual characteris-
tics of built and natural environments influence human perception and behavior, particularly
with regard to health outcomes and housing market dynamics.
Louis G. Tassinary is a professor of architecture and an adjunct professor of psychology, as
well as the associate dean for Research and the director of Graduate Studies in the College
of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He is the coeditor and contributing author of two
editions of the Handbook of Psychophysiology. His current research interests are in the areas
of perception and evolutionary psychology, with an emphasis on the morphological cues to
biological sex, gender, and attractiveness. He thinks everyone should read John Spivak’s
autobiography, A Man in His Time (1967).
at Texas A&M University - Medical Sciences Library on February 19, 2014eab.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... Job type (Sundstrom et al. 1982b), complexity and tenure (Fried et al. 2001) were found to moderate, and satisfaction with the overall physical environment (Newsham et al. 2009;Lee et al. 2016), negative emotions and fit into the workspace (Węziak-Białowolska et al. 2018) were found to mediate this relationship. Findings on privacy effects on affect (Herbig et al. 14 Oldham (1988); Zalesny and Farace (1987) density, privacy satisfaction, proximity cognitive self-reported cognition Oldham and Rotchford (1983) density, control over privacy, privacy satisfaction physical physical symptoms, perceived health Kweon et al. (2008) artefacts, colors affective work attitudes Kim and Jung 2015; Oldham and Fried (1987); Oldham and Rotchford (1983) Knight and Haslam (2010a); Kwallek et al. (2005) artefacts, colors cognitive self-reported cognition Oldham and Rotchford (1983) Evensen et al. Job satisfaction was reported to vary amongst different office layouts (e.g., Oldham and Fried 1987;Bergström et al. 2015;Otterbring et al. 2018;Węziak-Białowolska et al. 2018), however, to varying degrees among different positions (Zalesny and Farace 1987) and with a lack of privacy explaining the decrease in job satisfaction (Oldham and Brass 1979). ...
... Exposure to Nature and Affective Wellbeing. Reviewed studies (see Table 4) mostly reported a positive effect of biophilic interior, whereby offices with biophilic features were associated with higher levels of positive mood, psychological comfort and job satisfaction, and lower levels of negative mood (Larsen et al. 1998;Kweon et al. 2008;Knight and Haslam 2010a;Yin et al. 2018). The relationship with stress was significant in males only (Kweon et al. 2008) or insignificant (Bringslimark et al. 2007). ...
... Reviewed studies (see Table 4) mostly reported a positive effect of biophilic interior, whereby offices with biophilic features were associated with higher levels of positive mood, psychological comfort and job satisfaction, and lower levels of negative mood (Larsen et al. 1998;Kweon et al. 2008;Knight and Haslam 2010a;Yin et al. 2018). The relationship with stress was significant in males only (Kweon et al. 2008) or insignificant (Bringslimark et al. 2007). In addition, the relationship with stress was found to be mediated by perceived organizational support (Bjørnstad et al. 2016). ...
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Despite the awareness that employees spend at least half of their awake time at work, knowledge about how the physical office work environment (POWE) shapes employee wellbeing remains fragmented, inconsistent and scattered across disciplines. We provide a narrative review of the empirical literature to summarise the current state of the science and lay the groundwork for advancing a more holistic and nuanced theoretical understanding of the mediating mechanisms underlying the POWE‐wellbeing relationship. To do so, we propose an updated taxonomy of POWE features, incorporating a new dimension – exposure to nature, and use this extended taxonomy to examine the evidence base on the relationship between POWE features and five dimensions of wellbeing: affective, physical, social, cognitive and professional. Based on our findings, we extend a meta‐theoretical model which identifies three distinct theoretically‐driven mediating pathways – relatedness, energy and functional discomfort – through which POWE features differentially influence wellbeing dimensions. In doing so, we integrate the organizational behaviour theory of Job Demands‐Resources and the environmental psychology framework of POWE functions to argue that POWE functions can be both demands and resources‐generating, and can, therefore, have simultaneous positive and negative consequences for employee wellbeing. We conclude with a critical examination of theoretical, methodological and practical implications for future research.
... There is a growing momentum for expression of naturalness in products, since it alludes to healthier products, has greater appeal, and insinuates positive environmental impacts (Karana & Nijkamp, 2014;Overvliet et al., 2016Overvliet et al., , p. 1192. Other benefits are the proven psychophysiological benefits of naturalness, a connection-to-nature, and indoor-nature-exposure in architecture (Han, 2010;Kweon et al., 2008;Vincent et al., 2010aVincent et al., , 2010aRaanaas et al., 2011;X. Li et al., 2012;Gladwell et al., 2012). ...
... Research shows that indoor nature exposure (INE) with objects such as wood furnishings and potted plants could improve stress (X. Li et al., 2012), comfort (Han, 2010), health (Gladwell et al., 2012), mood tolerance (Kweon et al., 2008), pain (Vincent et al., 2010a), task performance (Shibata & Suzuki, 2004;Raanaas et al., 2011), and perceived quality of life (Vincent et al., 2010b) when it was perceived to be pleasant by all of the senses. ...
Thesis
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Mycelium bio-composites’ temporality, and material-meaning, provide architecture a novel solution for both resource and well-being crises. New materialist, growing design practices offer an opportunity to realise mycelium bio-composites’ full holistic potential by acknowledging the evocation of meaning by materials’ senso-aesthetics and their ability to generate positive perceptions and favour. This research employs a growing design framework in its endeavour to understand the role of perception, disgust, and other barriers to the uptake of mycelium bio-composites in architecture. Adaptive digital and analogue design methods were utilised to engage this biological organism’s agency and the uncertainties that co-creating with it entails. A tinkering process helped to understand the behaviours and ideal growth conditions of mycelium and produced a materials library of mycelium bio-composites; its reception defined the trajectory of this thesis. Disgust was identified as a potential barrier to mycelium bio-composites in an industry tethered to industrial standardisation and an expectation for permanence. Existing mycelium bio-composite, and innovation diffusion, research is limited by their collective cognitive focus on production and technical performance. This research acknowledges the influence of emotions on decision-making, through its investigation into how multi-sensory, meaningful materials experiences affect consumer perceptions and decision-making. It conducts a material experience study using survey and video observation methods to understand early adopters’ subjective experiences of mycelium bio-composites. The study confirmed disgust and mycelium bio-composites’ temporality as potential barriers to industry uptake. The key finding, however, was the reported influence of touching mycelium bio-composites on decision-making, as well as its psychophysiological benefits: to calm; and to stimulate. An opportunity to present these results to industry representatives at the NZIA Design Awards was hindered by covid restrictions that necessitated a virtual presentation. The inability to share the physicality of the material, and its emotive influence, confirmed the limitations of a fundamentally occularcentric industry, whose material representation is predominantly audio-visual and focused on mechanical functions. To optimise the holistic benefits of this material, further research is required to confirm and quantify this information for high-level architectural adoption. More broadly, however, it invites the architectural industry to adopt a new materialist paradigm that values and engages materials’ agency and multi-sensory, psychophysiological impacts.
... Despite these limitations, our results suggest two possible approaches that organizations could take to reduce the level of employee exhaustion and stress: first, improving the aesthetics of the working environment, and second, developing their employees' artistic interest. Regarding the former, improving workplace aesthetics does not require large sums of money; for example, introducing plants and flowers [78], allowing employees to personalize their workspace with personal objects [79], or putting up art posters in the workplace [80]. Regarding the second approach, studies have shown that art appreciation courses for medical staff can reduce burnout levels [46,47]. ...
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Background: Recently, workers employed in vaccination points around the world have been subjected to very high workloads to counter the progress of the COVID-19 epidemic. This workload has a negative effect on their well-being. Environmental psychology studies have shown how the physical characteristics of the workplace environment can influence employees' well-being. Furthermore, studies in the psychology of art show how art can improve the health of individuals. Objectives: The aim of this research was to test a moderated mediation model to verify how appreciation of workplace aesthetics can impact the level of exhaustion of staff working in a vaccination center, the mediating role of positive and negative affects, and the moderating role of interest in art. Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 274 workers (physicians, nurses, reception, and administrative staff) working in the same vaccination center in Italy. Participants answered a self-report questionnaire during a rest break. We used a cross-sectional design. Results: The results show that appreciation of workplace aesthetics impacts employees' level of exhaustion. This relationship is mediated by positive and negative affects, and interest in art moderates the relationship between positive affects and exhaustion. Conclusions: These findings indicate the central role of workplace aesthetics in influencing healthcare workers' well-being, and how interest in art can reduce exhaustion levels. Practical implications of the results are discussed.
... The findings regarding study spaces were surprising, as student stress is usually attributed to these environments, but 31 participants photographed these spaces (library and classroom). Although a previous study discussed the psychological benefits of study spaces such as classrooms, it still focused on observable natural elements (e.g., views outside the window and ornamental plants) [58,59]. There has been little discussion on the restorative effects of these spaces, such as classrooms and libraries. ...
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Full-text available
Undergraduates commonly suffer from stress and anxiety; therefore, it is imperative to find restorative places on campus. Although blue and green spaces are good for recovery and stress relief, previous studies have failed to determine other types of restorative spaces on campuses. Using a bottom-up participatory smartphone photo survey, this study recruited a sample of 243 students from Sichuan Technology and Business University in China, and the results were as follows: (1) potential restorative spaces on campus were grouped into five categories: green, blue, gray, living, and study space; (2) no significant differences were found in the assessment of the five restorative spaces, all of which showed positive effects; (3) the five restorative spaces were linked with four restorative characteristics in different ways, with green, blue, gray, and living space showing the “being away” characteristic (refuges from the hassles of everyday life, indicate geographical or psychological distance), and gray and study spaces showing the “fascination” characteristic (effortless attention); (4) visit duration played an important role in the environment’s potential to promote recovery. A shorter visit duration owing to a lack of infrastructure and interest points may contribute to reduced benefits. This study has important implications for the design and management of restorative environments on college campuses.
... Συνεπώς, η μειωμένη έκθεση στα φυσικά τοπία -όπως, λ.χ., τα ορεινά -τείνει να έχει αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στην ευζωία και ευεξία των ανθρώπων (Μισθος & Μενεγάκη, 2016). Σε ένα πιο πρακτικό και καθημερινό επίπεδο, έχει καταδειχθεί ότι εργασιακοί χώροι που παρέχουν τη δυνατότητα θεάσεων προς αντικείμενα ή αναπαραστάσεις που συνδέονται με το φυσικό περιβάλλον (λ.χ., ύπαρξη φυτών ή/και πινάκων τοπίων στον χώρο, θέαση προς τον κήπο, κ.λπ.) οδηγούν σε υψηλότερα επίπεδα ικανοποίησης των απασχολούμενων από τη δουλειά και τη ζωή, λιγότερο στρες και λιγότερες ημέρες απουσίας, σε σύγκριση με εργασιακούς χώρους που δεν παρέχουν αυτές τις δυνατότητες (Leather et al., 1998;Bringslimark et al., 2007;Kweon et al., 2008;McMahan & Estes, 2015). ...
... In regard to stress and anxiety, similar to the interventions that will be explored in this paper, Clow and Fredhoi (2006) asked individuals to take a 35-min visit to an art gallery on their lunch break and found that even short exposures lead to significantly lower self-reported stress (∼2.4 points on a pre-/post-visit 10-point scale) and cortisol concentrations. Impacts have also been found, see also Kweon et al. (2008), for similar paradigms showing lower reported stress following art installations in an office. Overall, there is a wealth of evidence that in-person art engagement can impact aspects of wellbeing including, subjective wellbeing, mood, anxiety, loneliness, and satisfaction with life. ...
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When experienced in-person, engagement with art has been associated—in a growing body of evidence—with positive outcomes in wellbeing and mental health. This represents an exciting new field for psychology, curation, and health interventions, suggesting a widely-accessible, cost-effective, and non-pharmaceutical means of regulating factors such as mood or anxiety. However, can similar impacts be found with online presentations? If so, this would open up positive outcomes to an even-wider population—a trend accelerating due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its promise, this question, and the underlying mechanisms of art interventions and impacts, has largely not been explored. Participants (N = 84) were asked to engage with one of two online exhibitions from Google Arts and Culture (a Monet painting or a similarly-formatted display of Japanese culinary traditions). With just 1–2 min exposure, both improved negative mood, state-anxiety, loneliness, and wellbeing. Stepdown analysis suggested the changes can be explained primarily via negative mood, while improvements in mood correlated with aesthetic appraisals and cognitive-emotional experience of the exhibition. However, no difference was found between exhibitions. We discuss the findings in terms of applications and targets for future research.
Thesis
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Non-territorial offices have been a growing architectural trend as they save costs and space, while maximizing the number of available workstations. The change to desk sharing is even more significant after the pandemic, with more companies switching to hybrid mode. The risk with non-territorial offices lies in lack of attachment to workplace in the employees, as these spaces scrap away any chance for personalization to the environment. Attachment as an affective bond to environments and places has a deep psychological implication in workplaces. The fundamental characteristic of the concept of attachment (and place attachment in particular) is the proximity-seeking behavior that draws the person closer to the attachment subject. Place attachment has been said to rely on social features and physical features. Attachment to workplace results in employees’ comfort, job satisfaction, development of commitment and organizational citizenship behaviors. Several models of people–place relationships have been proposed, including the PPP model by Scannell and Gifford which highlights place loss and resulting emotion, attitudes, and behaviors relevant for workplace change processes. From a behavioral perspective, one can study attachment as a habit formation behavior. This motivational/emotional behavior therefore underpins the mesolimbic dopaminergic system involved in reward mechanisms as well as seeking mechanisms. Considering the appraisal theory, the affective bond shapes because the environment (1) is predictable to offer security and support survival (2) supports achievement of physical and cognitive goals (3) matches one’s personal values (4) supports one’s expectations based on past experiences. Operationalization of place attachment helps architects to design attractive work environments that evoke this emotion.
Thesis
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What aesthetic qualities do we find restorative in our environments? I explore this in the context of staycations, favourite places, nature, urban environments, and the ideal or optimal environment. The data was sourced from social media and print media; a qualitative survey (N=308); and via a literature review. This thesis contrasts and bridges theories in environmental and everyday aesthetics with empirical findings in environmental preference studies, to critically examine current knowledge about environmental preferences and restoration, and to fill gaps and identify new directions for research. The main conclusions are that environmental preferences are influenced by the research method; the term “restorative” warrants expansion; and environmental preferences significantly depend on the subject’s expectations, earlier experiences and the interactional possibilities that are available in places. We are not passive recipients of sensory input but actively seek to attain positive influences and alter our surroundings to affect our mood and well-being.
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Urban façades have been one of the most crucial issues in Iranian urban development and the disorder that has been around in this field reflects the unstable situation of the society. In spite of the clarity of the concept of façade in scientific circles as well as the fact that it has turned into a major concern among urban managers over the last decade, urban façades are still suffering from a severe lack of organization. The reason may be our narrow view of façade which confines it to its physical aspects. To this end, the present study seeks to analyze the architectural heritage of the city of Tehran over the recent century in terms of urban façades in order to develop a map of the way for the future. Thus, by drawing upon grounded theory and in-depth interview with experts, the factors affecting the evolution of urban façades in Tehran during the late Qajar period, Pahlavi dynasty, and the Islamic Republic of Iran were identified and the dominant styles of each period based on the identified factors were publicly evaluated in terms of identity, beauty and showy by means of a questionnaire.
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Cet article se base sur l’observation des images de paysages mises en scène dans le métro de Pékin. Après une partie introductive présentant la thématique de la relation entre paysage et pouvoir en Chine, les images sont examinées tout d’abord à travers le lien entre paysage et concept politique d’harmonie sociale, puis analysées plus précisément sur deux niveaux comme images de propagande délivrant un message politique et comme images cognitives agissant en tant qu’outil politique d’harmonisation sociale.
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Thesis (Ph. D. in Psychology)--University of California, Berkeley, June 1982. Bibliography: leaves 101-108.
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This study used an experimental design and multiple measures to ascertain whether stress in healthcare consumers undergoing a procedure known to be stressful - blood donation - would be affected by modest changes in a clinic environment. Four different environmental conditions were presented to 872 blood donors (68% males; 32% females; mean age = 40.4 years) using wall-mounted television monitors: a videotape of nature settings (Nature); a tape of urban environments (Urban); daytime television (Television); or a blank monitor (No Television). Findings from physiological measures (blood pressure, pulse rate) provided a pattern of evidence that the environmental conditions had significantly different effects on donor stress. Consistent with arousal/stimulation theory, the blood-pressure and pulse-rate findings converged to indicate that stress was lower during No Television than Television, and during Low Stimulation (No Television + Nature) than High Stimulation (Television + Urban). In line with evolutionary theory, pulse rates were markedly lower during Nature than Urban. An important clinical implication of the findings is that the common practice of playing uncontrollable daytime television in healthcare waiting areas where stress is a problem may actually have stressful. not stress-reducing, influences on many patients/consumers. Healthcare environments should tend to be more restorative and supportive for stressed outpatients when Nature is prominently present, and environmental stimulation levels are low rather than high and intrusive.
Chapter
Many environment—behavior (EB) researchers are interested in the effects of the physical environment on human behavior. However, many researchers appreciate the theoretical and methodological importance of scrutinizing other variables that can intercede in the EB relation (Evans & Cohen, 1987; Moore, 1988; Wachs, 1986; Wohlwill, 1983). Typically, one speaks of other variables that can moderate or mediate EB relations. Moderator variables are “third” variables that alter or qualify EB relations. In contrast, mediator variables interpret, or explain, EB relations.
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A survey questionnaire of 250 residents of the city of Detroit was taken in 1979. Its purpose was to identify inner city attitudes regarding urban forestry and tree programs. The respondents demonstrate a high regard for tree programs as compared to other municipal services. Within parks, the specific attributes which respondents would like to see more of, show preference to more passive activities associated with trees and shade. Differences do exist across several characteristics such as age and race. Tree lined streets rank highest as important places for government to provide trees. Providing trees in parking lots, in industrial areas and in downtown areas ranked surprisingly low. Respondents state that trees would influence their choice of a place to live. When viewing color pictures and several scenes, responses to bipolar word pairs indicate strong positive feelings to trees. Specific tree programs favored most, are to plant more trees in their neighborhood.
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From a pool of nearly 900 situations, anonymously described by young people from prepuberty to adolescence as anger provoking, 60 situations were randomly drawn. Twelve advanced students of psychology independently rated the similarity between each possible pair of situations with respect to the perceived cause of anger. The resultant averaged similarity matrix was subjected to factor analysis, and ten factors were deemed an optimal solution, both psychologically and statistically. The factor structure is described and discussed, and other findings of situational dimensions, not made explicit by the factor analysis, are also discussed.