Environmental influences on psychological restoration

Scand J Psychol. 1996 Dec;37(4):378-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.1996.tb00670.x.


Research on psychological restoration and restorative environments is a needed complement to work on stress and environmental stressors. Two laboratory experiments tested the utility of two restorative environments theories, one concerned with directed attention capacity renewal and the other with stress reduction and associated changes in emotion. Various strategies were employed to distinguish restorative effects from other effects, to limit the role of arousal reduction in attentional restoration, and to begin mapping the time course for the emergence of outcomes. Both experiments tested for differential emotional and performance effects as a function of photographic environmental simulation (natural or urban environment). Across the experiments the natural environment simulation engendered generally more positive emotional self-reports. That consistent performance effects were not found in either study suggests that attentional restoration as reflected in performance is a more time-intensive process.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal* / physiology
  • Attention* / physiology
  • Emotions* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mental Fatigue / psychology
  • Social Environment*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*


  • Hydrocortisone