Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Dr. Alan Salmoni

Abstract

Attention Restoration Theory (ART) predicts that top-down processing during everyday activities can cause attentional fatigue and that bottom-up processing that occurs when people experience nature will be restorative (Kaplan, 1995). The present study examined this prediction by exposing participants to three different conditions using a repeated measures design: a control condition during which participants walked on a typical treadmill, a nature/restorative condition during which participants walked on the same treadmill, experiencing a simulated nature walk, and a perturbation condition that included the same simulated nature scene but also required top-down processing during the walk. The findings supported ART predictions. As measured by the backwards digit span test, the nature condition produced a significant improvement in directed attention performance compared to the control and perturbation conditions that did not. Natural or simulated natural environments could be implemented throughout University campuses to support a more effective learning environment for students.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 01, 2019

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