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2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 9:20am - 9:40am
The Effects of Soundscapes on Moood

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The majority of prior research concerning the effects of a natural environment on an individual’s mood has primarily examined the use of visual stimuli as a means of improving one’s mood and, consequently, cognitive performance. For example, previous research has found that students in residences with natural scene through a window exhibited significantly greater well-being than students without natural scenes. In addition, students with visual access to the natural environment via a window have been found to perform better academically than those without such access. Similar research in an urban setting found that girls with access to natural views from their homes performed better academically than girls with no natural views from their homes. Moreover, the latter group showed weakened impulse control and ability to concentrate. Compared to the large number of studies on mood on cognitive restoration, little research has examined the effects of natural sounds on mood and other cognitive states (e.g., attention). Previous research on natural and anthropogenic sounds and their effects on mood restoration found that the overall moods of participants in natural soundscapes was generally superior compared to the groups exposed to anthropogenic sounds or no sounds at all. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that naturalistic-auditory stimuli will have a positive effect on an individual’s overall mood-state when compared to anthropogenic-auditory stimuli. In addition, this study was designed to determine whether a ‘voice’ nature sound (i.e., birdsong) is better than a non-voice (rainfall, gentle breeze) nature sound in terms of promoting positive mood. Finally, it is hypothesized that individuals who are exposed to auditory stimuli that is comprised of anthropogenic or “man-made” sounds will exhibit negative mood-levels after that trial. The results will be discussed in the context of theory and research on the effects of exposure to nature on wellness.

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Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:20am - 9:40am
406 Wilma Sherrill Center

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