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Tranquility and Danger in Urban and Natural Settings

Journal of Environmental Psychology

Author: Herzog, T. R., Chernick, K. K.
Year: 2000
Type: Journal Article


Our purpose was to investigate perceived tranquility (theoretically a combination of moderate fascination and aesthetic pleasure) and perceived danger in urban and natural settings. We explored the relationship of these two target variables to each other and to a set of three predictor variables: openness, setting care, and nature (amount of foliage and vegetation). Participants rated each of 48 color slides, evenly divided between urban and field/forest natural settings, for only one of the five variables. Several predictions derived from Attention Restoration Theory for tranquility and from a review of the environmental criminology literature for danger were supported: (1) tranquility was rated higher in natural than in urban settings, and the reverse was true for danger; (2) tranquility and danger were negatively correlated across all settings; (3) the three predictor variables were generally positively related to tranquility and negatively related to danger. Two variations from the general pattern of results emerged in model-testing analyses that controlled for setting category and the presence of other predictors. First, the negative relationship between setting care and perceived danger was stronger for urban than for natural settings, indicating that setting care is more salient for judgments of danger in urban settings. Second, openness was a significant predictor of danger (a negative relationship) but not of tranquility. These variations suggest that tranquility and danger probably should be viewed not as polar opposites but as distinct constructs.

Further Details

Full Title Journal of Environmental Psychology
Pages 29-29
Volume 20
Issue 1
Accession Number November, 2010
Work Type Journal Article
Research Notes Electronic copy added 30/08/2013
Keywords HealthCognitiveemotionalEnvironment

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