EVALUATING THE EFFECT OF NATURAL SOUNDSCAPE ON ATTENTION RESTORATION AND PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOR
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Aiming to find the solution to mitigate mental fatigue and a path to promote meaningful action (in this case pro-environmental behavior), this true experiment employed a 3x3 factorial design with two independent variables: soundscape (natural, ambient, urban) and the price difference between new and used products on a mock shopping website (large difference, little difference, no difference) as between-subjects factors. The two dependent variables are attentional function and pro-environmental behavior within the mock online shopping experience. We found main effects of soundscape on attentional function and on pro-environmental behavior. Only people exposed to nature soundscape had an improvement in attentional function. Participants in the nature condition also had the highest pro-environmental behavior score. Moreover, attentional function mediated the relation between soundscape and pro-environmental behavior. The mediation effect indicated that by restoring attentional function, soundscape contributed to pro-environmental behavior. The result showed natural stimuli—in this case auditory—can play a key role in promoting not only attention restoration but also environmentally responsible behavior. These results are consistent with the Supportive Environments for Effectiveness (SEE) model where being effective can transfer to meaningful action. Future studies should be more mindful of the connection between nature, attention restoration, and responsible behavior, and extend the connection beyond the laboratory setting, e.g., workplace, educational environments, and even senior living settings. Furthermore, current studies of SEE examined either attentional function or mood as the mediator between natural stimuli and meaningful action. Future studies ought to examine attentional function and mood together to better understand the potential contribution of each element in promoting meaningful action.
Attentional Restoration Theory; Cognitive Function Restoration; Mental Fatigue; Natural Auditory Stimuli; Pro-environmental Behavior; Supportive Environment for Effectiveness
Wells, Nancy M.
Design and Environmental Analysis
M.A., Design and Environmental Analysis
Master of Arts
Attribution 4.0 International
dissertation or thesis
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