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The need for psychological restoration as a determinant of environmental preferences
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9970-9164
2006 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 26, no 3, 215-226 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental preferences vary with the environments evaluated and the people who evaluated them. When research has considered the explanatory power of person variables, it has focused on traits or demographic characteristics. Little research has considered how environmental preferences vary with regularly occurring psychological states, such as attentional fatigue. In this experiment, we investigated the need for psychological restoration as a within-individual determinant of the common preference differential between natural and urban environments. We treated preference as an attitude, constituted of beliefs about the likelihood of restoration during a walk in a given environment and the evaluation of restoration given different restoration needs. College students (N = 103) completed the procedure just before a morning lecture (less fatigue condition) or immediately after an afternoon lecture, which itself followed the passage of time and other activities over the day (more fatigue condition). In both fatigue conditions, participants reported more favorable attitudes toward a walk in a forest than a walk in a city center, but this difference was larger with the more fatigued. This result apparently owes to the more fatigued participants' more positive evaluation of attentional recovery, and a greater judged likelihood of restoration when walking in the forest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 26, no 3, 215-226 p.
Keyword [en]
Attentional fatigue, Environmental preference, Natural environment, Psychological restoration, Urban environment
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20754DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2006.07.007ISI: 000243043900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-20754DiVA: diva2:48527
Available from: 2006-12-12 Created: 2006-12-12 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Hartig, Terry
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