Perceptual Evaluation of Natural Landscapes: The Role of the Individual Connection to Nature

I. Chun Tang, William C. Sullivan, Chun Yen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many people do not seem to have interesting perceptual experiences while in contact with nature. To identify potential antecedents of positive perceptual experiences in natural settings, we investigated the role of a personal connection to nature on perceptual evaluation of preference-related environmental information in varying natural settings. The participants (N = 77) rated three different types of images of rural forest landscapes in terms of perceived environmental information, including sense of safety, coherence, complexity, legibility, mystery, attentional restorativeness, familiarity, and preference. They also reported their personal connection to nature. The results showed that deeper personal connections to nature are associated with greater perceptual evaluations of sense of safety, legibility, mystery, and attentional restorativeness after accounting for landscape type and familiarity. A personal connection to nature is likely to enhance a person’s perceptual experiences of natural landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-617
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • attentional restorativeness
  • connection to nature
  • landscape perception
  • preference
  • sense of safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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