The Impact of Nature Imagery and Mystery on Attention Restoration

Yap, Trina, Dillon, Denise, and Chew, Peter K.H. (2022) The Impact of Nature Imagery and Mystery on Attention Restoration. J, 5 (4). pp. 478-499.

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The factors contributing to urbanization, such as population growth and the development of mega-cities, have increased environmental stressors on top of everyday stressors, resulting in information overload. This has led to the increasing incidence of direct attentional fatigue, which causes stress and mental fatigue. The attention restoration theory centres on the environment’s capacity to restore attentional deficits and suggests that there are certain qualities in the environment that restore attention, which leads to improvements in our physical, mental, and social well-being. An environment can be restorative through the activation of involuntary attention, which limits the need for directed attention. This study explored for effects of natural, built, and mixed environment types and levels of mystery on attention restoration in university undergraduates. Perceived and actual levels of attention restoration were measured using a perceived restoration scale (PRS) and the digit symbol substitution task (DSST), respectively. A total of 101 participants viewed a restorative image followed by the completion of the DSST and the PRS for each of the 18 images depicting different environments. Actual attention restoration was measured by latency values in the DSST instead of through both speed and error rates due to some operational issues with the DSST which interfered with the full achievement of the study’s aims. There was an effect of different environments and mystery on perceived attention restoration. However, there appeared to be no effect on actual attention restoration, indicating a disconnect between perceived and actual restoration. Further research is required to confirm the specific effects of natural and built environments and mystery on attention restoration.

Item ID: 76753
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2571-8800
Keywords: attention restoration; environment settings; mystery
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 23:41
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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