Topophilia and the quality of life.With this research I tested the hypothesis that individual preferences for specific ecosystem components and restorative re·stor·a·tive
1. Of or relating to restoration.
2. Tending or having the power to restore.
A medicine or other agent that helps to restore health, strength, or consciousness. environments are significantly associated with quality of life (QOL QOL,
n quality of life, a subjective assessment of one's emotional and physical well-being. ). A total of 379 human subjects responded to a structured 18-item questionnaire on topophilia and to the 26-item World Health Organization's Quality of Life (WHOQOL-Bref) instrument. Confirmatory factor analyses Verb 1. factor analyse - to perform a factor analysis of correlational data
analyse, analyze - break down into components or essential features; "analyze today's financial market" revealed four domains of topophilia (ecodiversity, synesthetic syn·es·the·sia also syn·aes·the·sia
1. A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color.
2. tendency, cognitive challenge, and familiarity) and four domains of QOL (physical, psychological, social, and environmental). Synesthetic tendency was the strongest domain of topophilia, whereas the psychological aspect of QOL was the strongest. Structural equation modeling Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a statistical technique for testing and estimating causal relationships using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions. was used to explore the adequacy of a theoretical model linking topophilia and QOL. The model fit the data extremely well: [chi square chi square (kī),
n a nonparametric statistic used with discrete data in the form of frequency count (nominal data) or percentages or proportions that can be reduced to frequencies. ] = 5.02, p = 0.414; correlation = 0.12 (p = 0.047). All four domains of topophilia were significantly correlated cor·re·late
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.
2. with the level of restoration experienced by respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. at their current domicile domicile (dŏm`əsīl'), one's legal residence. This may or may not be the place where one actually resides at any one time. The domicile is the permanent home to which one is presumed to have the intention of returning whenever the purpose [for cognitive challenge: r = 0.19; p < 0.01; familiarity: r = 0.12; p < 0.05; synesthetic tendency: r = 0.18; p < 0.01; ecodiversity (the highest value): r = 0.28; p < 0.01]. Within ecodiversity, preferences for water and flowers were associated with high overall QOL (r = 0.162 and 0.105, respectively; p < 0.01 and 0.05, respectively). Within the familiarity domain, identifiability was associated with the environmental domain of QOL (r = 0.115; p < 0.05), but not with overall QOL. These results provide a new methodologic framework for linking environmental quality and human health and for implementing evidence-based provision of restorative environments through targeted design of built environments to enhance human QOL. Key words: ecosystems, mental health, nature, quality of life, restorative environments, stress, topophilia. doi:10.1289/ehp.7467 available via http://dx.doi.org/[Online 22 November 2004]
Mental stress is an underestimated and growing component of disease burden in many parts of the world (Saxena et al. 2003). The roles of both natural and constructed environments in relieving mental stress have long been suspected but are poorly understood. Tuan (1999) originally defined topophilia as the affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.
1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.
2. bond between people and place or environmental setting. Topophilia is presumed to be a vivid and personal experience, but research is scarce on the determinants of individual preferences and on the potential health benefits derived from such experiences. The few existing studies have not adequately deconstructed the confounding confounding
when the effects of two, or more, processes on results cannot be separated, the results are said to be confounded, a cause of bias in disease studies.
confounding factor of affective and cognitive processes Cognitive processes
Thought processes (i.e., reasoning, perception, judgment, memory).
Mentioned in: Psychosocial Disorders in aesthetic response versus tangible health outcomes (e.g., Parsons Parsons, city (1990 pop. 11,924), Labette co., SE Kans.; inc. 1871. It is a shipping point for dairy products, grain, and livestock. Manufactures include ammunition, wire and paper products, plastics, and appliances. 1991; Ulrich 1979). Furthermore, quantitative assessments of the values associated with the considerable financial investment by societies in naturalistic nat·u·ral·is·tic
1. Imitating or producing the effect or appearance of nature.
2. Of or in accordance with the doctrines of naturalism. environmental design, landscape architecture, and ecosystem conservation through wildland natural preserves are rare. When available, the results of such studies are often inconclusive INCONCLUSIVE. What does not put an end to a thing. Inconclusive presumptions are those which may be overcome by opposing proof; for example, the law presumes that he who possesses personal property is the owner of it, but evidence is allowed to contradict this presumption, and show who is or contradictory. The proximate proximate /prox·i·mate/ (prok´si-mit) immediate or nearest.
Closely related in space, time, or order; very near; proximal.
immediate; nearest. 2causes of particular topophilia are embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. in measurable characteristics: environmental perception, defined as the response of senses to external stimuli and purposeful pur·pose·ful
1. Having a purpose; intentional: a purposeful musician.
2. Having or manifesting purpose; determined: entered the room with a purposeful look. activity; attitude, or ingrained in·grained
1. Firmly established; deep-seated: ingrained prejudice; the ingrained habits of a lifetime.
2. cultural stances; and values, the rank-ordered conception of preferences that emerge following a personalized per·son·al·ize
tr.v. per·son·al·ized, per·son·al·iz·ing, per·son·al·iz·es
1. To take (a general remark or characterization) in a personal manner.
2. To attribute human or personal qualities to; personify. exercise in trade-offs among alternative scenarios. Environmental designers have long exploited the basic ideas of topophilia to create presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. attractive surroundings that restore mental health based on the use of materials, sensory sensory /sen·so·ry/ (sen´sor-e) pertaining to sensation.
1. Of or relating to the senses or sensation.
2. stimuli, and arrangements that remind people of the place and environmental settings that are comforting and/or associated with healing potential (Carlson 2000; Porteous 1996).
In the tradition of environmental psychology, "restorative environments" are defined as specific geographical contexts that renew diminished functional capabilities and enhance coping strategies The German Freudian psychoanalyst Karen Horney defined four so-called coping strategies to define interpersonal relations, one describing psychologically healthy individuals, the others describing neurotic states. and resources for managing stress (Hartig and Staats 2003). There is also general consensus that measuring restoration according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. this definition is complicated. In urban cultures where restorative environments are conventionally linked to few and remote vestiges of forest wilderness or pristine pris·tine
a. Remaining in a pure state; uncorrupted by civilization.
b. Remaining free from dirt or decay; clean: pristine mountain snow.
2. water views, it is increasingly important to understand the role of landscape design and public art in providing sanctuaries where a sense of balance can be restored to hectic hec·tic
1. Characterized by intense activity, confusion, or haste: "There was nothing feverish or hectic about his vigor" Erik Erikson.
2. lifestyles. However, parameters such as age, sex, ethnic background, and socioeconomic status socioeconomic status,
n the position of an individual on a socio-economic scale that measures such factors as education, income, type of occupation, place of residence, and in some populations, ethnicity and religion. have powerful influences on individual and group perception of restorative environments as defined by artificial public spaces in confined con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. urban centers (Hartig et al. 2003; Laumann et al. 2003). In this research project I sought to identify common features of preferred restorative environments in a sample population according to the categories typically associated with topophilia: synesthetic tendency (commingling Combining things into one body.
The term commingling is most often applied to funds or assets. When a fiduciary, a person entrusted with the management of funds other than his or her own in trust, mixes trust money with that of others, the fiduciary is commingling of sensory stimuli and the memory of place), environmental familiarity, cognitive challenge, and ecodiversity (Janzen 1998; Tuan 1993, 1999). The specification of topophilic preferences is potentially more informative if the preferences are linked to tangible benefits for human health and welfare. In this regard, the literature on restorative environments has lacked a quantitative measure of restoration, although there have been some preliminary empirical excursions into the putative Alleged; supposed; reputed.
A putative father is the individual who is alleged to be the father of an illegitimate child.
A putative marriage is one that has been contracted in Good Faith and pursuant to ignorance, by one or both parties, that certain linkages between individual environment preferences and restoration (Staats et al. 1997, 2003; van den Berg Van den Berg is the surname of:
In the present study, I assessed the mental health profile of respondents to the topophilia survey by means of the World Health Organization's quality of life survey instrument (WHOQOL-Bref). The WHO defines quality of life (QOL) as "an individual's perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns" (WHOQOL WHOQOL World Health Organisation Quality of Life Group 1994, 1995, 1998a, 1998b). Both the 100-question (WHOQOL-100) and 26-question (WHOQOL-Bref) versions have been validated val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. across many cultures, in several countries, and for different contexts of health, well-being, and occupational stress (Kuyken et al. 1994; Nasermoaddeli et al. 2003; Skevington et al. 2004; Weatherall et al. 2004). WHOQOL-Bref is recommended when it is advisable ad·vis·a·ble
Worthy of being recommended or suggested; prudent.
ad·visa·bil to minimize the time burden on respondents. Furthermore, it has been shown to have excellent psychometric psy·cho·met·rics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and properties of reliability, and it performed well in tests of validity across the four domains of health, namely, physical health, psychological well-being psychological well-being Research A nebulous legislative term intended to ensure that certain categories of lab animals, especially primates, don't 'go nuts' as a result of experimental design or conditions , social relationships, and environmental support (Saxena et al. 2001).
As a seminal seminal /sem·i·nal/ (sem´i-n'l) pertaining to semen or to a seed.
Of, relating to, containing, or conveying semen or seed. exploration of the linkages between QOL and preferred environmental and ecosystem features, the present study explicitly posed the hypothesis that those exhibiting high QOL are more likely to describe their domicile as providing access to restorative environments defined by specific components of the landscape. I further hypothesized that preference for the specific topophilia domain of ecodiversity is associated with high QOL. The hypotheses were tested by statistical analyses of responses to structured questionnaires. The population sampled for this study identified preferences for water bodies, flowers, and spatial familiarity restoration.
The results provide insight into specific aspects of ecosystems and artificial landscapes that are more likely to support restoration and the enhancement of QOL. Importantly, the set of methods developed here provides a strategy for future investigations addressing the response of diverse populations in different urban environments to various aspects of natural and artificial topography topography (təpŏg`rəfē), description or representation of the features and configuration of land surfaces. Topographic maps use symbols and coloring, with particular attention given to the shape and elevations of terrain. .
Materials and Methods
Human subject pool. Human subjects for the study were recruited at the University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States). at Irvine between August 2001 and August 2002. For most respondents, the campus represented both residential and work environments during periods of concentrated academic activity. It is partly for this reason that construction and landscape developmental plans for many campuses recognize the need to provide oases for recreation, reflection, and mental restoration. However, there has never been a systematic study of preferences for landscape design relative to the level of restoration experienced after study-induced stress or fatigue. Respondents were recruited from well-visited locations across campus, including library, bookstore, restaurant, and athletic fields. The average amount of time required for completion of the questionnaire was 15 min. The recruitment material was approved by the institutional review board for research on human subjects at the University of California, Irvine.
A cover letter introduced the research project and informed potential respondents that participation is voluntary and confidentiality is assured throughout the entire process. Each survey was denoted by a numerical identifier. Self-reported information was collected on baseline characteristics baseline characteristic Medical practice An initial finding or value in a Pt, before any formal intervention such as sex, age, level of education attained, marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. , and ethnic background. Information was also collected on the location of permanent domicile and on the length of time that respondents have spent living and working or schooling at the specific campus.
Topophilia rating. Restorative environment is used in the context of this study to mean a place associated with relief from mental stress or fatigue. There are few standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. quantitative measures of the specific components of restorative environments (Laumann et al. 2001). In this study, composite measures for environmental perception and preferences for specific ecosystem components and landscape design were integrated in an 18-item questionnaire (questionnaire items 8-25 in Table 1). This measure of topophilia was developed using the theoretical foundations provided by the work of Tuan and existing theories of restorative environments (Betrabet 1996; Hartig and Evans 1993; Hertzog et al. 2003; Tuan 1999). Respondents rated their preferences for specific categories of ecosystem components and environmental and landscape design characteristics on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most effective toward respondent's expectation of restoration experience. This set of questions focused on the level of importance that respondents accorded to ecosystem components regardless of whether or not they have current access or they expect to actually experience the benefits of exposure to the items being rated. For example, the questions in this category were framed as follows: "Rate the following characteristics (or sensory qualities/ecological components) of an environment according to your expectation of how effective they will be in making you feel refreshed re·fresh
v. re·freshed, re·fresh·ing, re·fresh·es
1. To revive with or as if with rest, food, or drink; give new vigor or spirit to.
2. or experience restoration, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most effective."
Confirmatory factor analyses identified four specific domains underlying topophilia: cognitive challenge (e.g., complexity and coherence coherence, constant phase difference in two or more Waves over time. Two waves are said to be in phase if their crests and troughs meet at the same place at the same time, and the waves are out of phase if the crests of one meet the troughs of another. ), synesthetic tendency (e.g., colors and sounds), ecodiversity (e.g., water bodies and trees), and familiarity (e.g., identifiability and privacy). For these domains, statistical factor loadings all exceeded 0.60, and Cronbach [alpha]-values ranged from 0.68 to 0.87 (Table 2). The last question in the section on topophilia ratings asked respondents to actually rate the campus according to the number and kinds of accessible restorative environments, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing saturation saturation, of an organic compound
saturation, of an organic compound, condition occurring when its molecules contain no double or triple bonds and thus cannot undergo addition reactions. (i.e., all subcategories within topophilia are accessible). This question addressed the extent to which various environmental elements were not only present, but also provided satisfying restorative effects in respondents' current environment. The question was phrased as follows: "On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your current home environment according to the abundance and variety of restorative environments that are accessible to you."
Assessing QOL. I used the brief version of the WHO's QOL survey instrument (WHOQOL-Bref) in this study to assess the QOL of respondents according to the four minor domains of physical health (seven categorical That which is unqualified or unconditional.
A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.
Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people. items), psychological welfare (six items), social relationships (three items), and environmental support (eight items). The four minor domains were statistically modeled to produce an overall score for the QOL for each respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. . The reliability of the associations between the observed variables and the latent Hidden; concealed; that which does not appear upon the face of an item.
For example, a latent defect in the title to a parcel of real property is one that is not discoverable by an inspection of the title made with ordinary care. domain of QOL was excellent, according to the consistently high Cronbach [alpha]-values computed for the models (Table 2). WHOQOL-Bref instrument was used with permission from the WHO (Ustun TB, personal correspondence). A syntax syntax: see grammar.
Arrangement of words in sentences, clauses, and phrases, and the study of the formation of sentences and the relationship of their component parts. file for checking the data and computing computing - computer domain scores was obtained from M. Power (University of Edinburgh (body, education) University of Edinburgh - A university in the centre of Scotland's capital. The University of Edinburgh has been promoting and setting standards in education for over 400 years. , Scotland). The WHOQOL-Bref scores were created and interpreted exactly as specified by the WHOQOL Group (1994, 1995, 1998a, 1998b). Factor loadings for all four domains exceeded 0.6, and Cronbach [alpha]-values ranged from 0.71 to 0.77 (Table 2).
Statistical analyses. Descriptive statistics descriptive statistics
see statistics. , correlation coefficients Correlation Coefficient
A measure that determines the degree to which two variable's movements are associated.
The correlation coefficient is calculated as: , and regression analyses were conducted using SPSS A statistical package from SPSS, Inc., Chicago (www.spss.com) that runs on PCs, most mainframes and minis and is used extensively in marketing research. It provides over 50 statistical processes, including regression analysis, correlation and analysis of variance. statistical software (version 12.0; SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Structural equation modeling to identify relationships among the domains of 2topophilia and QOL was conducted using Amos software (version 5.0; SPSS, Inc.).
Human subjects. Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics and general properties of the sample population. A total of 379 respondents completed the questionnaire. The average age of respondents was 23 years, ranging from 17 to 60 years. Females represented 58% of the sample population. The sample was ethnically diverse, but of those who registered their ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic , more respondents (24%) claimed Asian ethnicity than others (17% Caucasian, 4% Hispanic, 3% African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. , and 4% mixed ethnicity). The majority (88%) of the sample population reported being single (9% married; 3% divorced or separated). Most respondents (79%) were pursuing undergraduate degree “First degree” redirects here. For the BBC television series, see First Degree.
An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree programs, and a large majority (88%) reported themselves to be healthy at the time of the survey.
Statistical model. It was important to first determine whether the responses to questions posed to assess topophilia clustered together in easily recognizable groups. Indeed, confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated four domains underlying topophilia: ecodiversity (questionnaire items 20-25 in Table 1), synesthetic tendency (items 15-19), cognitive challenge (items 8-11), and familiarity (items 12-14). Structural equation modeling showed that all four domains loaded onto the latent construct of topophilia. The strongest domain was synesthetic tendency (0.84), and the weakest domain was cognitive challenge (0.37) (Figure 1).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Four major domains of human experience are also generally recognized to contribute to human self-reporting of QOL. Figure 1 shows the results of confirmatory factor analyses demonstrating that the four recognized domains of WHOQOL-Bref (i.e., physical health, psychological well-being, social relationships, and environmental support) also loaded highly on the underlying latent construct of QOL. These factor loadings are comparable with those identified in an international population sample by the WHOQOL Group (1994, 1995, 19988a, 1998b). The strongest domain was psychological well-being (0.81), and the weakest domain was social relationships (0.66).
I also used structural equation modeling to test the relationship between the latent variable In statistics, Latent variables (as opposed to observable variables), are variables that are not directly observed but are rather inferred (through a mathematical model) from other variables that are observed and directly measured. of topophilia and the overall QOL scores based on WHOQOL-Bref. The statistical model showed extremely good fit with the data, linking observed overall QOL score and the latent variable of topophilia that was derived from all the four major domains: [chi square] (df = 5, n = 379) = 5.02 (p = 0.414). The correlation between topophilia and QOL score is 0.12 (p = 0.047) (Figure 1). The smallest loading factor among the four underlying determinants of topophilia was 0.37 for the domain of cognitive challenge. Therefore, I tested a new model without the cognitive challenge domain, and the fit between the data and model improved slightly: [chi square] (df = 2, n = 379) = 1.84 (p = 0.398). For this new model, the correlation between topophilia and QOL remained at 0.12 (p = 0.040). Therefore, I judged the model with all four domains of topophilia to be the best model, although further research is warranted to improve the factor loading for the cognitive challenge2 domain, which currently includes questions on complexity, mystery, coherence, and texture.
Variance and correlations among the domains of topophilia and QOL. Topophilia. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most effective in supporting a restorative experience, the mean rating of topophilia subcategories ranged from the lowest observed value of 4.75 (SD = 2.67) for complexity to the highest observed value of 7.90 (SD = 2.32) for the presence of trees (Table 1). The mean ([+ or -] SD) rating of restoration opportunities attributed to respondents' location was 7.1 [+ or -] 1.9, also on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most saturated saturated /sat·u·rat·ed/ (sach´ah-rat?ed)
1. denoting a chemical compound that has only single bonds and no double or triple bonds between atoms.
2. unable to hold in solution any more of a given substance. with opportunities for experiencing restoration.
Quality of life. Most respondents ranked their QOL very highly (mean ~ 3.98 [+ or -] 0.81; on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest QOL). Similarly, most respondents were satisfied with their health status (mean = 3.69 [+ or -] 0.89). Respondents mostly felt that their lives are meaningful (mean = 3.76 [+ or -] 0.96), and most enjoyed a healthy physical environment (mean = 3.54 [+ or -] 0.83). The computed scores for the four domains of QOL were reasonably high, consistent with scores observed by WHOQOL Group (1994, 1995, 1998a, 1998b) for healthy international populations. The computed score for the physical health domain was the highest (mean = 15.22 [+ or -] 2.24; on a scale of 1-20, with 20 being the highest). The lowest domain score was for the environment domain (mean = 14.38 [+ or -] 2.33). The overall QOL computed from the domain scores was also high (mean = 14.69 [+ or -] 2.11) (Table 1).
Correlations. Table 3 shows the correlation matrix Noun 1. correlation matrix - a matrix giving the correlations between all pairs of data sets
statistics - a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population between the domains of topophilia and the domains of QOL. The data show that only the "ecodiversity" category of topophilia was significantly correlated to the overall QOL (r = 0.123; p < 0.05), and within this category, the presence of flowers (r = 0.162; p < 0.01) and proximity to lakes/ocean (r = 0.129; p < 0.05) were significantly correlated with the overall QOL. All the major categories of topophilia were significantly correlated with the rating of opportunities for restoration at the current domicile of the respondents, but the domain of familiarity was significant only at the p = 0.05 level, whereas cognitive challenge, synesthetic tendency, and ecodiversity were significant at the p = 0.01 level (Table 3).
What are the tangible health benefits to its citizens of society's investment in ecologic e·col·o·gy
n. pl. e·col·o·gies
a. The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments. Also called bionomics.
b. The relationship between organisms and their environment. conservation, environmental design, and expensive landscape architecture? There is near universal agreement that these investments are justifiable jus·ti·fi·a·ble
Having sufficient grounds for justification; possible to justify: justifiable resentment.
jus , but until now there have been no straightforward methodologies for providing quantitative answers to this question because of the widely acknowledged variations in individual preferences and valuation of environmental quality across regional, national, political, and cultural boundaries. This study linked, for the first time, a standardized globally validated measure of human QOL with the indicators of human preferences for ecosystem attributes that have been associated with restorative environments. In addition to providing this linkage linkage
In mechanical engineering, a system of solid, usually metallic, links (bars) connected to two or more other links by pin joints (hinges), sliding joints, or ball-and-socket joints to form a closed chain or a series of closed chains. , the results of this study also suggest a quantitative strategy for proactive assessment of user preferences for specific landscape features before the implementation of environmental design initiatives aimed at enhancing public health and welfare.
This study was conducted primarily among an educated youthful population sample inhabiting a societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. microcosm mi·cro·cosm
A small, representative system having analogies to a larger system in constitution, configuration, or development: "He sees the auto industry as a microcosm of the U.S. . This is considered an important strength of the study in the sense that both the population and site are supported by considerable societal economic expenditure as an investment in future generations. However, appropriate caution is warranted before the data can be extrapolated to major urban centers--for example, in the construction of large parks for populations having lower levels of education, different ethnic composition, or different kinds of stressors. That said, it is important to note that the WHOQOL-Bref model scores observed in this study are not significantly different from those measured for healthy populations in most parts of the world (Saxena et al. 2001; Skevington et al. 2004) (Figure 1).
This study yielded two major findings: a) The overall QOL score is significantly associated with high rating of topophilia, and b) environmental and landscape design strategies associated with cognitive challenge--complexity, coherence, and the use of textural stimulation--are less effective in creating impressions of environmental restoration, whereas ecologic designs using ecodiversity themes--particularly the presence of flowers, lakes, or oceans--are generally perceived as providing restorative environments. The implications of these two major findings are discussed in the following sections.
Linkage of topophilia, restoration, and QOL. The major finding of this study is that a statistically valid model explicitly connects a standardized measure of the overall QOL scores with the latent construct of topophilia (correlation = 0.12; p = 0.047). Furthermore, all the factor loadings from the four precisely defined domains (ecodiversity, synesthetic tendency, environmental familiarity, and cognitive challenge) were significant, and the reliability according to Cronbach [alpha]-values was very good for the latent construct of topophilia (Table 2). These findings provide a strong tool for studies attempting to bridge the current epistemologic gap between personal preferences for environmental or ecologic resources and mental health. There is a long history of research on the theoretical underpinnings of the specific identities of person-environment interactions that enhance the restorative experience (Betrabet 1996; Kaplan 1995, 2001; King et al. 2002; Korpela et al. 2001). However, empirical validations An empirical validation of a hypothesis is required for it to gain acceptance in the scientific community. Normally this validation is achieved by the scientific method of hypothesis commitment, experimental design, peer review, adversarial review, reproduction of results, of these theoretical constructs are rare. Among the dominant theories of restorative environments is attention restoration theory (ART), which posits that intensive or prolonged pro·long
tr.v. pro·longed, pro·long·ing, pro·longs
1. To lengthen in duration; protract.
2. To lengthen in extent. use of directed attention leads to fatigue of the mechanisms that serve it, and that the recovery of effective functioning (restoration) is enabled by experience of certain components of a restorative environment (Hertzog et al. 2003; Kaplan 1995). ART is particularly relevant to populations encamped in densely populated pop·u·late
tr.v. pop·u·lat·ed, pop·u·lat·ing, pop·u·lates
1. To supply with inhabitants, as by colonization; people.
2. geographical locations with the fatigue-prone occupations. According to ART, restorative environments are characterized char·ac·ter·ize
tr.v. character·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
2. by four features: "being away," "extent," "fascination," and "compatibility" (Hertzog et al. 2003). The topophilia domains used in the present study differ substantially from ART features, although there are overlaps. For example, certain aspects of "being away" and "compatibility" are captured by the "environmental familiarity" index used in this study. Similarly, the "extent" feature of ART is most similar to the "cognitive challenge" category, whereas the "fascination" feature of ART is most similar to the "synesthetic tendency" construct used here. Perhaps the most salient advantage of the strategy used here is the explicit presentation of "ecodiversity" as a category. In ART, the main focus is to explain why people prefer natural environments to artificial (built) environments. This limitation has prevented empirical analysis of just what part of nature people find extensive, fascinating, or compatible. The finding of the present research eliminates this limitation and provides a solid context for further empirical testing of the determinants of restorative environments.
Ecodiversity themes are paramount in the environmental restoration experience. The results of this research further buttress buttress, mass of masonry built against a wall to strengthen it. It is especially necessary when a vault or an arch places a heavy load or thrust on one part of a wall. previous findings that when presented with opportunities for restoration, people rank proximity to natural/wildlife environments higher than landscape or urban constructions that overemphasize o·ver·em·pha·size
tr. & intr.v. o·ver·em·pha·sized, o·ver·em·pha·siz·ing, o·ver·em·pha·siz·es
To place too much emphasis on or employ too much emphasis. complex designs or artificial sensory stimulation sensory stimulation,
n in acupuncture, the practice of inserting needles into skin and tissue to coax the body into using its energy to heal itself. , although these latter criteria can also contribute to the overall restoration experience. Specifically, the presence of flowers and water bodies are identified in this study as major factors that are associated with QOL and the experience of restorative environments. This level of pinpointing has been previously difficult to establish because most research on environmental preferences have relied on composite measures of "nature," such as photographs of forests or nature hikes (Hartig et al. 1994). Specifically, van den Berg et al. (2003) noted that the absence of mediational analyses in past research has led to inadequate evidence for the intricacies of the theoretically sound and empirically supported line of reasoning Noun 1. line of reasoning - a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning; "I can't follow your line of reasoning"
logical argument, argumentation, argument, line that people typically demonstrate a fondness for nature more than the built environment. The functional accounting of environmental preferences suggests that individuals are attracted to environments that provide tangible benefits to health and that the level of attraction depends on the baseline of measurable health status (Hertzog et al. 2003). To use a pertinent metaphor, drivers whose automobiles rarely run out of gas are also more likely to pay attention to their fuel gauges and to know the locations of the best refueling stations, being picky pick·y
adj. pick·i·er, pick·i·est Informal
Excessively meticulous; fussy.
[pickier, pickiest] Brit, Austral & NZ about the cost of fuel and brand name of each station. That is, they are more likely to indulge in·dulge
v. in·dulged, in·dulg·ing, in·dulg·es
1. To yield to the desires and whims of, especially to an excessive degree; humor.
a. in preferential pref·er·en·tial
1. Of, relating to, or giving advantage or preference: preferential treatment.
2. rating of refueling stations than drivers who are stressed and less attentive at·ten·tive
1. Giving care or attention; watchful: attentive to detail.
2. Marked by or offering devoted and assiduous attention to the pleasure or comfort of others. . To bring this metaphor home to the present study, those who maintain a high QOL are also more likely to rank high on topophilia and to more clearly identify those components of the environment that afford high levels of regular restoration.
In addition to pointing out the positive associations between specific components of ecodiversity and mental health, it is also noteworthy to emphasize the surprising finding that none of the components of the synesthetic sensory stimuli category showed strong statistical association with QOL. So, for example, the anecdotal anecdotal /an·ec·do·tal/ (an?ek-do´t'l) based on case histories rather than on controlled clinical trials.
anecdotal adjective Unsubstantiated; occurring as single or isolated event. linkages that have been made in the academic literature, and even in commercial enterprises regarding the health benefits of listening to sounds associated with wildlife and natural settings (e.g., ocean waves, wind-rustled leaves, cricket sounds), are not strongly supported here. However, it is equally important to note the subjective nature of such preferences, and a much larger subject sample may be required to reach firm conclusions in this direction.
This study demonstrated a statistically significant association between QOL and topophilia using a standardized, internationally validated measure of QOL developed by the mental health group of the WHO, and a new construct of environmental preferences defined by the latent variable of topophilia. Synesthetic tendency is the strongest domain of topophilia, and psychological well-being is the strongest domain of QOL. Furthermore, the study demonstrated in the sample population that the appreciation of ecologic diversity is the strongest component of topophilia that is associated with QOL. Within the ecodiversity subdomain, the appreciation of flowers and water bodies are correlated with high QOL, but not the presence of animals, trees, or hilly hill·y
adj. hill·i·er, hill·i·est
1. Having many hills.
2. Similar to a hill; steep.
hill terrains. These findings are consistent with other findings regarding the ubiquitous preference of natural environments instead of built environments, in the sense that no strong associations were observed between environmental features of complexity and coherence, which are typically assumed to be artificial features. In addition, there were no strong associations between the experience of sensory stimuli, such as sound, smell, or color, and QOL, possibly because of a high level of variance in the latent variable entitled en·ti·tle
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: synesthetic tendency. This study provides a new empirical way of assessing restoration and other health benefits that have been theoretically associated with human experience of specific ecosystem components. The approach presented here should be valuable for proactive environmental and landscape design with the aim of providing mental restoration after stress and fatigue.
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Hartig T, Bowler PA, Wolf A. 1994. The psychological ecology ecology, study of the relationships of organisms to their physical environment and to one another. The study of an individual organism or a single species is termed autecology; the study of groups of organisms is called synecology. of ecological ecological
emanating from or pertaining to ecology.
the state of balance in an ecosystem when its inhabitants have established their permanent relationships with each restoration.++ Restor Manag Notes 12:133-137.
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tr.v. en·vi·roned, en·vi·ron·ing, en·vi·rons
To encircle; surround. See Synonyms at surround.
[Middle English envirounen, from Old French environner Psychol 23:109-123.
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Kaplan S. 2901. Meditation meditation, religious discipline in which the mind is focused on a single point of reference. It may be a means of invoking divine grace, as in the contemplation by Christian mystics of a spiritual theme, question, or problem; or it may be a means of attaining , restoration, and the management of mental fatigue. Environ Behav 33:489-506.
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Korpela KM, Hartig T, Kaiser FG, Fuhrer füh·rer also fueh·rer
A leader, especially one exercising the powers of a tyrant.
[German, from Middle High German vüerer, from vüeren, to lead, from Old High German U. 2001. Restorative experience and self-regulation in favorite places. Environ Behav 33:572-589.
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Atlas (ăt`ləs), in Greek mythology, a Titan; son of Iapetus and Clymene and the brother of Prometheus. . J Ment Health Policy Econ 6:135-143.
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1. a state of responsiveness to sensory stimulation or excitability.
2. the act or state of waking from or as if from sleep.
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of :Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is an academic press based in New York City and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan (2004-present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, .
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An appreciation of life and the living world. , biophobia, and natural landscapes. In: The Biophilia Hypothesis (Kellert SR, Wilson EO, eds). Washington, DC:Island Press, 73-137.
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v. psyched, psych·ing, psyches
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Oladele A. Ogunseitan
Department of Environmental Health, Science, and Policy, University of California, Irvine, California Irvine is an incorporated city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28 1971, the 69.7 square mile (180.5 km²) city has a population of 202,079 (as of 2007). , USA
Address correspondence to O.A. Ogunseitan, Department of Environmental Health, Science, and Policy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-7070 USA. Telephone: (949) 824-6350. Fax: (949) 824-2056. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am grateful for the assistance of A. Castro, C. Yi, S. Ly, and M. Poulin. The research benefited from the expertise and insight of E.A. Holman and from the inspirational in·spi·ra·tion·al
1. Of or relating to inspiration.
2. Providing or intended to convey inspiration.
3. Resulting from inspiration. work of M. Lin in the nexus of architecture and the human experience.
This project was funded by grants front the Claire Trevor School of the Arts The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is the fine arts school at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, CA. The four departments housed in the school are Dance, Drama, Music, and Studio Art. and the Program in Industrial Ecology industrial ecology
Discipline that traces the flow of energy and materials from their natural resources through manufacture, the use of products, and their final recycling or disposal. Research in industrial ecology began in the early 1990s. at the University of California at Irvine.
The author declares he has no competing financial interests.
Received 30 July 2004; accepted 22 November 2004.
Table 1. Descriptive statistics of the sample population and the summary statistics of responses to the composite questionnaire (n = 379). Questionnaire item Minimum Maximum 1 Participant's sex 0 (Male) 1 (Female) 2 Date of birth (year only) 1943 1986 3 Level of education completed 0 5 4 Marital status 0 4 5 Ethnicity 1 9 6 Level of restoration experienced off campus 1 5 7 Level of restoration experienced on campus 1 5 8 Environmental complexity rating 1 10 9 Environmental mystery rating 1 10 10 Environmental coherence rating 1 10 11 Environmental texture rating 1 10 12 Environmental identifiability rating 1 10 13 Spaciousness rating 1 10 14 Privacy rating 1 10 15 Colors rating 1 10 16 Smells rating 1 10 17 Sounds rating 1 10 18 Light rating 1 10 19 Tactile (touch stimulation) rating 1 10 20 Flowers rating 1 10 21 Trees rating 1 10 22 Animals rating 1 10 23 Flowing water rating 1 10 24 Lake or ocean rating 1 10 25 Hills or mountains rating 1 10 26 Campus rating on topophilia criteria 1 10 27 Currently ill? 1 5 28 How do you rate your quality of life? 1 5 29 How well are you satisfied with your health? 1 5 30 What extent does physical pain hamper you? 1 5 31 Need medical treatment to function? 1 5 32 Enjoy life? 1 5 33 Feel life to be meaningful? 1 5 34 Able to concentrate? 1 5 35 Safe in daily life? 1 5 36 Healthy physical environment? 1 5 37 Enough energy for daily life? 1 5 38 Accept your bodily appearance? 1 5 39 Enough money to meet your needs? 1 5 40 Information that you need available? 1 5 41 Opportunity for leisure activities? 1 5 42 Able to get around? 1 5 43 Satisfied with your sleep? 1 5 44 Satisfied with ability for daily activities? 1 5 45 Satisfied with capacity for work? 1 5 46 Satisfied with yourself? 1 5 47 Satisfied with your personal relationships? 1 5 48 Satisfied with your sex life? 1 5 49 Satisfied with support from friends? 1 5 50 Satisfied with conditions of living space? 1 5 51 Satisfied with access to health care? 1 5 52 Satisfied with transport? 1 5 53 How often do you have negative feelings? 1 5 54 Physical domain 6.86 20.00 55 Psychological domain 6.67 20.00 56 Social domain 4.00 20.00 57 Environment domain 5.00 20.00 58 Overall QOLscore 7.18 19.58 59 Ecodiversity ratings factor 1.00 10.00 60 Synesthetic tendency ratings factor 1.00 10.00 61 Cognitive ratings factor 1.00 10.00 62 Familiarity ratings factor 1.00 10.00 Questionnaire item Mean [+ or -] SD 1 Participant's sex 0.58 [+ or -] 0.495 2 Date of birth (year only) 1979 [+ or -] 5.477 3 Level of education completed 2.09 [+ or -] 1.488 4 Marital status 0.19 [+ or -] 0.605 5 Ethnicity 5.46 [+ or -] 3.468 6 Level of restoration experienced off campus 2.56 [+ or -] 5.152 7 Level of restoration experienced on campus 3.11 [+ or -] 7.411 8 Environmental complexity rating 4.75 [+ or -] 2.673 9 Environmental mystery rating 5.04 [+ or -] 2.661 10 Environmental coherence rating 5.97 [+ or -] 2.354 11 Environmental texture rating 5.83 [+ or -] 2.442 12 Environmental identifiability rating 7.29 [+ or -] 2.633 13 Spaciousness rating 7.69 [+ or -] 2.555 14 Privacy rating 7.08 [+ or -] 2.496 15 Colors rating 7.38 [+ or -] 2.385 16 Smells rating 7.24 [+ or -] 2.566 17 Sounds rating 7.35 [+ or -] 2.521 18 Light rating 7.59 [+ or -] 2.410 19 Tactile (touch stimulation) rating 6.06 [+ or -] 2.467 20 Flowers rating 7.27 [+ or -] 2.515 21 Trees rating 7.90 [+ or -] 2.324 22 Animals rating 6.00 [+ or -] 2.814 23 Flowing water rating 7.68 [+ or -] 2.605 24 Lake or ocean rating 7.79 [+ or -] 2.538 25 Hills or mountains rating 7.11 [+ or -] 2.642 26 Campus rating on topophilia criteria 7.08 [+ or -] 1.942 27 Currently ill? 1.02 [+ or -] 0.259 28 How do you rate your quality of life? 3.98 [+ or -] 0.814 29 How well are you satisfied with your health? 3.69 [+ or -] 0.893 30 What extent does physical pain hamper you? 4.13 [+ or -] 0.999 31 Need medical treatment to function? 4.38 [+ or -] 0.893 32 Enjoy life? 3.88 [+ or -] 0.826 33 Feel life to be meaningful? 3.76 [+ or -] 0.956 34 Able to concentrate? 3.31 [+ or -] 0.883 35 Safe in daily life? 3.86 [+ or -] 0.787 36 Healthy physical environment? 3.54 [+ or -] 0.830 37 Enough energy for daily life? 3.73 [+ or -] 0.808 38 Accept your bodily appearance? 3.57 [+ or -] 0.976 39 Enough money to meet your needs? 3.32 [+ or -] 1.205 40 Information that you need available? 3.71 [+ or -] 0.775 41 Opportunity for leisure activities? 3.27 [+ or -] 0.964 42 Able to get around? 3.91 [+ or -] 0.935 43 Satisfied with your sleep? 3.27 [+ or -] 1.048 44 Satisfied with ability for daily activities? 3.68 [+ or -] 0.826 45 Satisfied with capacity for work? 3.55 [+ or -] 0.922 46 Satisfied with yourself? 3.78 [+ or -] 0.916 47 Satisfied with your personal relationships? 3.68 [+ or -] 1.038 48 Satisfied with your sex life? 3.31 [+ or -] 1.186 49 Satisfied with support from friends? 3.91 [+ or -] 0.915 50 Satisfied with conditions of living space? 3.71 [+ or -] 0.961 51 Satisfied with access to health care? 3.68 [+ or -] 0.982 52 Satisfied with transport? 3.65 [+ or -] 1.131 53 How often do you have negative feelings? 3.59 [+ or -] 0.864 54 Physical domain 15.2153 [+ or -] 2.24354 55 Psychological domain 14.5933 [+ or -] 2.49269 56 Social domain 14.6029 [+ or -] 3.38493 57 Environment domain 14.3765 [+ or -] 2.33073 58 Overall QOLscore 14.6985 [+ or -] 2.11191 59 Ecodiversity ratings factor 7.3687 [+ or -] 1.94399 60 Synesthetic tendency ratings factor 7.3917 [+ or -] 2.09584 61 Cognitive ratings factor 5.5342 [+ or -] 1.79975 62 Familiarity ratings factor 7.3611 [+ or -] 2.01276 Table 2. Cronbach [alpha]-value estimates of statistical reliability for the associations between observed variables (minor domains) and the two latent variables of topophilia and QOL (major domains). Domains [alpha]-Value Topophilia Ecodiversity 0.833 Synesthetic tendency 0.870 Cognitive challenge 0.746 Familiarity 0.684 QOL Physical health 0.717 Psychological well-being 0.777 Social relationships 0.715 Environmental support 0.751 Table 3. Matrix of correlation coefficients among QOL, topophilia, and respondent experience of restoration. QOL domains Environ- Topophilia domains Physical Psychological Social mental Cognitive Complexity -0.004 0.029 0.043 -0.030 Mystery -0.019 -0.002 0.095 -0.056 Coherence -0.016 -0.062 0.003 -0.005 Texture -0.061 -0.078 0.047 -0.029 Familiarity Identifiability 0.041 0.006 0.072 0.115 * Spaciousness 0.049 0.014 0.095 0.009 Privacy 0.034 0.092 0.067 -0.006 Synesthetic tendency Colors 0.036 0.049 0.059 0.041 Smells -0.013 0.010 0.084 -0.005 Sounds 0.062 0.081 0.058 0.030 Lighting 0.083 0.092 0.062 0.072 Tactile -0.002 -0.005 0.084 -0.010 Ecodiversity Flowers 0.128 * 0.063 0.188 * 0.106 * Trees 0.087 0.012 0.082 0.073 Animals -0.023 -0.033 0.063 0.024 Flowing water 0.053 -0.005 0.055 0.059 Lake/ocean 0.082 0.064 0.136 * 0.105 * Hills/mountain 0.040 0.039 0.075 0.067 Overall Level of restoration Topophilia domains QOL at current location Cognitive (0.009) Complexity 0.017 0.189 ** Mystery 0.016 Coherence -0.024 Texture -0.031 Familiarity (0.082) Identifiability 0.069 0.118 * Spaciousness 0.054 Privacy 0.062 Synesthetic tendency (0.077) Colors 0.059 0.183 ** Smells 0.030 Sounds 0.071 Lighting 0.095 Tactile 0.033 Ecodiversity (0.123 *) Flowers 0.162 ** 0.282 ** Trees 0.084 Animals 0.021 Flowing water 0.055 Lake/ocean 0.129 * Hills/mountain 0.075 Values in parentheses are correlation coefficients between the overall QOL and each of the major domains of topophilia tested as a group. * Pearson correlation coefficients are significant at the 0.05 level (two-tailed). ** Pearson correlation coefficients are significant at the 0.01 level (two-tailed).