A plasma display window?—The shifting baseline problem in a technologically mediated natural world

A plasma display window?—The shifting baseline problem in a technologically mediated natural world Humans will continue to adapt to an increasingly technological world. But are there costs to such adaptations in terms of human well being? Toward broaching this question, we investigated physiological effects of experiencing a HDTV quality real-time view of nature through a plasma display “window.” In an office setting, 90 participants (30 per group) were exposed either to (a) a glass window that afforded a view of a nature scene, (b) a plasma window that afforded a real-time HDTV view of essentially the same scene, or (c) a blank wall. Results showed that in terms of heart rate recovery from low-level stress the glass window was more restorative than a blank wall; in turn, a plasma window was no more restorative than a blank wall. Moreover, when participants spent more time looking at the glass window, their heart rate tended to decrease more rapidly; that was not the case with the plasma window. Discussion focuses on how the purported benefits of viewing nature may be attenuated by a digital medium. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Environmental Psychology Elsevier

A plasma display window?—The shifting baseline problem in a technologically mediated natural world

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0272-4944
eISSN
1522-9610
DOI
10.1016/j.jenvp.2007.10.008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Humans will continue to adapt to an increasingly technological world. But are there costs to such adaptations in terms of human well being? Toward broaching this question, we investigated physiological effects of experiencing a HDTV quality real-time view of nature through a plasma display “window.” In an office setting, 90 participants (30 per group) were exposed either to (a) a glass window that afforded a view of a nature scene, (b) a plasma window that afforded a real-time HDTV view of essentially the same scene, or (c) a blank wall. Results showed that in terms of heart rate recovery from low-level stress the glass window was more restorative than a blank wall; in turn, a plasma window was no more restorative than a blank wall. Moreover, when participants spent more time looking at the glass window, their heart rate tended to decrease more rapidly; that was not the case with the plasma window. Discussion focuses on how the purported benefits of viewing nature may be attenuated by a digital medium.

Journal

Journal of Environmental PsychologyElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 2008

References

  • Environmental views and values of children in an inner-city black community
    Kahn, P.H.; Friedman, B.
  • Robotic pets in the lives of preschool children
    Kahn, P.H.; Friedman, B.; Perez-Granados, D.R.; Freier, N.G.
  • The view from the road: Implications for stress recovery and immunization
    Parsons, R.; Tassinary, L.G.; Ulrich, R.S.; Hebl, M.R.; Grossman-Alexander, M.
  • Artificial window view of nature
    Radikovic, A.S.; Leggett, J.J.; Keyser, J.; Ulrich, R.S.

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