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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 74  |  Page : 1--10

The effects of auditive and visual settings on perceived restoration likelihood

1 Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies; Environmental Psychology, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
2 Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Helena Jahncke
Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, University of Gävle, SE-801 76 Gävle
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.149559

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Research has so far paid little attention to how environmental sounds might affect restorative processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of auditive and visual stimuli on perceived restoration likelihood and attitudes towards varying environmental resting conditions. Assuming a condition of cognitive fatigue, all participants (N = 40) were presented with images of an open plan office and urban nature, each under four sound conditions (nature sound, quiet, broadband noise, office noise). After the presentation of each setting/sound combination, the participants assessed it according to restorative qualities, restoration likelihood and attitude. The results mainly showed predicted effects of the sound manipulations on the perceived restorative qualities of the settings. Further, significant interactions between auditive and visual stimuli were found for all measures. Both nature sounds and quiet more positively influenced evaluations of the nature setting compared to the office setting. When office noise was present, both settings received poor evaluations. The results agree with expectations that nature sounds and quiet areas support restoration, while office noise and broadband noise (e.g. ventilation, traffic noise) do not. The findings illustrate the significance of environmental sound for restorative experience.


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