|Title:||Restorative benefits of the natural environment : enhancing restoration of directed attention & stress reduction through raising levels of cognitive awareness & physical encounter|
Architecture -- Psychological aspects.
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning.
|Abstract:||Interaction with the natural environment has a vital role in human well-being - physical, social, spiritual and psychological - and yet in the twenty-first century many people lead a way of life totally separated from natural environments. Built environments and the increasing complexity of technological tasks necessitate increased demands for attention and a constant processing of information. Adaptation to such demands can result in depletion of psychological resources leading to stress and mental fatigue. Psychological resources must then be “restored” as they are critical for effective functioning. A review of restorative environments literature suggests there is further scope for enhancing restorative opportunities. A hypothetical model of enhanced restoration is proposed. It posits that an individual assuming a more active role, through raised cognitive awareness and physical encounter in the person-natural environment interaction will experience enhanced restoration in terms of restoration of directed attention and reduction of stress. The research hypotheses are tested using a quantitative field-based pretest-posttest experimental design with a sample of 100 volunteers. Data is collected through computerised objective and subjective measurement scales of attention and affect. Data is analysed through ANOVA. The major finding is that posttest scores improved compared to pretest scores in all 3 attention tests, 2 subjective attention scores and both affect measures, averaged over all 4 intervention groups. This means that the participants’ directed attention improved and they considered themselves to be less stressed regardless of the allocated experimental intervention group. Therefore, the most effective intervention in improving directed attention fatigue and reducing stress was raising an individual’s level of physical encounter with the natural environment. Further research is warranted, into the contribution that an individual can make to enhance the restorative process, and the need for education to raise awareness of the importance of the natural environment as a valuable (health-care) resource.|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
|FINAL_THESIS_nadia_lalak.pdf||12.23 MB||Adobe PDF|