Is virtual reality a valid tool for restorative environments research?

A. B. Ünal*, R. Pals, L. Steg, F. W. Siero, K. I. van der Zee

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

11 Citaten (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)

Samenvatting

This study examines the validity of virtual reality for assessing the restorative quality of environments. In Study 1, participants (N = 23) visited a real natural and a real urban environment, after completing a task to induce mental fatigue (i.e., a Sudoku task). We found that perceived restorative characteristics, preference ratings, experienced pleasure and self-reported restoration were higher in a real natural environment compared to a real urban environment. Perceived restorative characteristics could predict pleasure and restoration for both the real natural and urban environments, as well as preference for the real natural environment. In Study 2, participants (N = 26) visited a virtual natural and a virtual urban environment, again following a mental fatigue induction. Findings showed that virtual simulations of a natural and urban environment elicit similar effects as real counterparts of these environments. Perceived restorative characteristics, preference, pleasure and restoration were higher in a virtual natural environment compared to a virtual urban environment. Additionally, perceived restorative characteristics could predict pleasure and restoration for both the virtual natural and urban environments, and preference for the virtual natural environment. We did not find significant differences in perceived restorative characteristics between the real and virtual butterfly garden. Moreover, similar restorative characteristics predicted preference, pleasure and restoration in the real butterfly garden and the virtual butterfly garden. These findings indicate that virtual reality can be a valid tool for restorative environments research.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer127673
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume74
DOI's
StatusPublished - aug.-2022

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