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The effects of scene contents and focus of light on perceived restorativeness, fear and preference in nightscapes


  • Heli Nikunen
  • Kalevi M. Korpela


This paper consists of two studies. The first study investigates how different scene contents (urban, combined/mixed and natural) affect perceived restorativeness, preference and fear in nightscapes. The second study investigates how changes in the focus of the light affect these same variables. Simulated views were rated by participants, using the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS) and measurements of fear and preference. The results of the first study indicate that night-time perceived restorativeness is consistent with that in daytime environments. Natural scenes were perceived as having higher restorative quality. They were also perceived as being less frightening than urban ones and were preferred to them. Combined scenes were assessed similarly to natural ones. The second study indicated that changing the focus of the light in nightscapes can have the same type of effects on perceived restorativeness, fear and preference as changing the actual content of the scene.

Suggested Citation

  • Heli Nikunen & Kalevi M. Korpela, 2012. "The effects of scene contents and focus of light on perceived restorativeness, fear and preference in nightscapes," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 453-468, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:55:y:2012:i:4:p:453-468
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.608548

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