• Affective priming of perceived environmental restorativeness

      Stevens, Paul; The Open University (2013)
      Research into the perceived restorativeness of a given environment has tended to focus on the principles of the Kaplans' Attention Restoration Theory at the expense of the affective considerations of Ulrich's psychoevolutionary model. To better understand the role of emotion, this experiment used contextual text-based primers to manipulate participants' affective state (positive or negative) prior to asking them to rate different environments using the Restorative Components Scale. Sixty-nine participants completed the web-based study, being pseudo-randomly allocated to either the positive- or negative-affect group and then rating three natural and three urban environments. Both groups rated natural environments as more restorative than urban ones, with negative-primed participants tending to give higher mean ratings for all environments. This effect was statistically significant for both the Being Away and Fascination components of perceived restorativeness for all environments, but only Fascination showed a significant interaction of the prior affective state with type of environment, a bigger effect being seen for the nature environments. Results are discussed in terms of current understanding of the interrelationship between attentional and affective processes