Does awareness effect the restorative function and perception of street trees?

Ying Hsuan Lin, Chih Chang Tsai, William C. Sullivan, Po Ju Chang, Chun Yen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban streetscapes are outdoor areas in which the general public can appreciate green landscapes and engage in outdoor activities along the street. This study tested the extent to which the degree of awareness of urban street trees impacts attention restoration and perceived restorativeness. We manipulated the degree of awareness of street trees. Participants were placed into four groups and shown different images: (a) streetscapes with absolutely no trees; (b) streetscapes with flashes of trees in which participants had minimal awareness of the content; (c) streetscapes with trees; and (d) streetscapes with trees to which participants were told to pay attention. We compared the performance of 138 individuals on measures of attention and their evaluations of perceived restorativeness. Two main findings emerged. First, streetscapes with trees improved the performance of participants on attentional tests even without their awareness of the trees. Second, participants who had raised awareness of street trees performed best on the attentional test and rated the streetscapes as being more restorative. These findings enhance our knowledge about the role of an individual's awareness of restorative elements and have implications for designers and individuals who are at risk of attentional fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 906
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - 2014


  • Attention restoration
  • DSBT
  • Manipulation on awareness degree
  • Perceived restorativeness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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