SENIOR THESIS - When the Nature of ‘Nature’ is Inconsistent - Evaluating the Natural Environment in Attention Restoration Theory


The Attention Restoration Theory (ART; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989) postulates that exposure to nature can help improve cognitive processes, specifically attentional control. These benefits are hypothesized to help with concentration and focus. However, there is tremendous variability in the definitions and manipulations of nature in research on ART. This complicates extrapolation from the results and makes it harder to see if nature itself is the restorative component or rather some other facet. This review evaluates randomized controlled trials studying the ART from 2013-2018 and catalogues differences in how nature was operationalized across studies. The paper presents suggestions for more methodologically consistent ART research, including direct replications, and an updated scale for measuring the restorativeness of an environment. This preprint is an unpublished senior thesis.

Posted on:
September 27, 2020
1 minute read, 124 words
Climate Change Nature
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