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Title: Identifying predictors for quality and quantity restorative character of wilderness: using events as an analysis unit

Author: Pierskalla, Chad D.; Siniscalchi, Jason M.; Hammitt, William E.; Smaldone, David A.; Storck, Steven J.;

Date: 2007

Source: In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 497-508.

Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The purpose of this research is to understand whether and how trail design and resource impacts influence the quality and quantity of restorative experiences. The focus of past research has been on understanding the quality-side (what happens). What is missing is a better understanding of the quantity-side of experiences (how much happens). Gibson's environmental perception theory was used to conceptualize quality and quantity experiences. He suggests that events involving the coupling of actors and environments are meaningful. Events were used as a unit of analysis in this study. Quantity (i.e., amount of events) was measured on an eventfulness scale. Continuous Audience Response Technology was used to record degree of eventfulness during the viewing of videos simulating hiking events in the Monongahela National Forest. While walking along each of eight wilderness trail segments, 90 seconds of visual media was filmed as stimuli. As study participants (N=42) watched each video, they rated the restorative character by turning a handheld dial from 0 (low) to 100 (high). Following each video, respondents evaluated five components of restorative environments, overall quality, and eventfulness. The number of dial turns was correlated with eventfulness (r=0.21, p<.001) but not quality. Average restorative character across the video was more strongly related to quality (r=.65, p<.001) than to quantity (r=0.30, p<.001). Two models predicting quality (Adjusted R2=0.54, p<.001) and quantity (Adjusted R2=0.16, p<.001) of restorative character were developed. Independent variables include components of restorative character, average restorative character across the video, and number of changes (positive and negative dial turns) in character. Average restorative character and fascination were more strongly related to overall quality than to quantity. The number of positive changes in character and novelty were more strongly related to quantity. Results revealed that quality and quantity are different constructs. Quality is related to a cognitive process (fascination). Quantity seemed to be more objective and related to novelty--a process associated with direct perception. Providing more variety in scenery and minimizing resource impacts contribute to eventful and high-quality restorative opportunities.

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Pierskalla, Chad D.; Siniscalchi, Jason M.; Hammitt, William E.; Smaldone, David A.; Storck, Steven J. 2007. Identifying predictors for quality and quantity restorative character of wilderness: using events as an analysis unit. In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 497-508.

 


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