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Overview of Research Findings

Summary of Potentially Fruitful Areas for Further Research

  1. Recording the live visual experience of being in and moving through a real woodland landscape (see Hull and Stewart, 1995).
  2. Recording the live experience of sound while in and moving through the landscape (Anderson et al, 1983, Porteous and Mastin, 1985b).
    Recording the live experience of smell while in and moving the landscape (Porteous, 1985a).
  3. Recording the live experience of taste while in and moving through the landscape.
  4. Recording the live experience of wind, precipitation, temperature, humidity and touch while in and moving through the landscape.
  5. Giving participants in studies a video camcorder to record visual, aural and other information on their own perceptions and responses.
  6. Non-intrusive physiological monitoring, as a measure of affect and emotional response, might include measures of skin temperature, heart rate, and other biophysiological electrical activity, if appropriate techniques are available. These will be especially useful if they can be applied in situations of live landscape experience.
  7. Use of mood-scales and other measures of subjective influence and response in the context of landscape perception and preference.
  8. Exploration of the way prior lifetime experience influences decision-making and engagement (through all the senses) with the landscape. This might be related to investigating what people notice, whether the landscape experience is one that has been encountered before or is something new, whether it seems familiar or not, what associations and memories are evoked (this is particularly important in the case of smell) and how these influence human behaviour as a result.
  9. Exploration of different categories of people's response to the landscape - by age group, by gender, by socio-economic category, by ethnic group, etc..
  10. Use of Personal Construct Theory (PCT) methods to explore the cognitive constructs and schemata which people use in understanding and responding to the landscape.

The list presented here is not mutually exclusive and clearly a number of aspects of perception could be explored using the same technique, or a single aspect could be explored in a range of different ways using different techniques and approaches. Similarly, it is likely that development of some of the items on the list may engender a number of further fruitful avenues to explore.

Catharine Ward Thompson

May 1998

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