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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

How restorative landscapes can benefit psychological and physiological responses: a pilot study of human-nature relationships in Sweden and Taiwan

Hung, Shih-Han; Palsdottir, Anna Maria; Sang, Asa Ode; Shahrad, Azadeh; Liao, Hui-Hsi; Hsu, Yu-Yun; Chang, Chun-Yen

Abstract

Restorative landscapes provide people with the opportunity to experience nature. This pilot study aimed to determine whether cultural differences affect psychological and physiological responses to restorative landscapes. Two populations, one in Taiwan and one in Sweden, were experimentally compared by showing them photos of restorative landscapes from each country. The results showed that restorativeness was affected more by photos of the restorative landscape in Sweden than in Taiwan. The results showed that restorativeness in terms of psychological and physiological responses was affected. A significant variation in heart rate was observed between the populations: Taiwanese participants experienced higher heart rates when viewing unfamiliar and novel scenery when compared to Swedish participants. No significant differences between the populations were observed regarding attention capacity, working memory, and muscle tension. The psychological and physiological responses to the two countries' distinctive restorative landscapes may have implications for designing such landscapes in urban green spaces.

Keywords

Culture difference; restorativeness; nature-based intervention; biofeedback

Published in

Landscape Research
2023, Volume: 48, number: 8, pages: 1073-1090
Publisher: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR AND FRANCIS LTD