|Description||This study looks at the way in which physical characteristics of parks influence emotion. The paper also examines the relationship between affective or emotional response and preference.|
|Methodology||The park environment was simulated by photographs. Results were evaluated using the 'circumplex model of affect' suggested by Mehrabian and Russell (1974) and Ward and Russell (1981) with the major axis of pleasure and arousal (see comments below). The park's tree densities, under-storey vegetation densities, and the presence or absence of pathways were used to explain the visitors' evaluation of affect.|
The researchers concluded:
|Published||Environment and Behavior, 21( 3):323-345, May 1989|
|Authors||Hull IV, B.R. and Harvey, A|
|Publisher||Sage Publications, Inc.|
|Price||subscription c. £183 p.a. (6)|
|Keywords||cognition ( affect/ emotion/experience); perception (built environment/natural environment); landscape (assessment/evaluation/preference)|
Emotions are said to be pancultural, innate and independent of sense modality. It is argues that emotions mediate the impact of environment on behaviour (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974).
This study is concerned with helping to establish the reliability and validity of the circumplex model of affect as refined in Russell and Lanius, (1984) and Russell and Snodgrass (1987).
The paper is of primary interest as a commentary on a research method and provides useful discussion of the pitfalls encountered with the use of this model. It illustrates, for example, the following points:
However they concluded that there were not significant variations in response based upon personality, style, and past experience. They did concede that the subject groupings may not have been sensitive enough to these factors.
They list, in passing, the influence of past experiences, current expectations, and previous moods on affective responses (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974) and mention that age, culture, gender and lifestyle may be important. These issues are not addressed in this research project.
For a fuller discussion of emotion and cognition in environmental preference see Russell, J. and Snodgrass, J. (1987)
Daniel, T.C. and Ittleson, (1981), Conditions for Environmental perception research: comment on the Psychological representation of molar physical environments by Ward and Russell. Journal of Experimental Psychology; General, 110: 153-157).
Mehrabain, A. and Russell, J.A. (1974), An approach to Environmental Psychology. Cambridge MIT Press.
Russell, J. A. and Lanius, U.F. (1984), Adaptation Level and the Affective Appraisal of Environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology 4 :119-135.
Russell and Steiger (1982), The structure in persons' implicit taxonomy of emotions. Journal of Research in Personality 16: 447-469.
Russell, J. and Snodgrass, J. (1987) "Emotion and Environment" in D Stokols and I. Altman (eds) Handbook of environmental psychology. Ch 8, pp245-281, New York: Wiley.
Russell, J.A. (1980), The circumplex model of affect Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39: 1161-1178.
Russell, J.A. and Pratt, G. (1980), A description of the effective quality attributed to environments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 38: 311-322.
Ward, L.M. and Russell, J.A., (1981), The psychological representation of molar physical environments. Journal of Experimental Psychology; General 110: 163-168.