The Effects of the Natural Environment on Attention Restoration

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca Marie Daniel (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lisa Emery

Abstract: Natural environments have previously been found to promote both positive moods and cognitive restoration, and interacting with nature may help support an individual’s cognitive and emotional well-being. The purpose of this study was to determine if an indoor environment with natural elements facilitates a more restorative experience than an indoor environment without natural elements. The restorative qualities of the environments were assessed through the framework of Attention Restoration Theory (ART). ART suggests that there are four qualities that must be present in an environment to facilitate a restorative experience: being away, fascination, extent, and compatibility. Undergraduate students at Appalachian State University completed measures aimed to induce directed attention fatigue (DAF) and were randomly assigned to spend 10 minutes in either the Solarium or Whitewater Café. Following ten minutes of quiet sitting, participants completed a perceived restorative qualities questionnaire. Participants then completed post-measures to assess for attention restoration in each location. Results indicated that there was no difference in levels of perceived restoration between locations, and there was no difference between levels of attention restoration as measured by several cognitive tasks. Though location did not matter, participants in both conditions experienced a marginal decrease of negative affect following their restorative experience.

Additional Information

Daniel, R.M. (2014). The Effects of the Natural Environment on Attention Restoration. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2014
Attention Restoration Theory, Nature, Directed Attention Fatigue, Mood, Depression

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