The effect of a labyrinth experience and setting on attention, affect, and tranquility, among garden staff

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Health
Department Parks Recreation & Tourism
Author Gomm, Katie
Title The effect of a labyrinth experience and setting on attention, affect, and tranquility, among garden staff
Date 2014-05
Description At some point, people may face an experience that causes sensory overload, mental fatigue, or stress from living in an urban environment. Recovery from the negative influences of the urban environment, according to Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and Stress Recovery Theory, is based on resting executive attention functioning and positive affect repair. Both theories highlight nature as an environment that is effective in restoring executive attention functioning and positive affect repair. This study explores the effect that setting and a meditative labyrinth experience has on affect, tranquility, and executive attention functioning. The study placed 60 participants into four treatments to explore these relationships, a labyrinth in an urban setting without meditation, a labyrinth in an urban setting with meditation, a labyrinth in a natural setting without meditation, and a labyrinth in a natural setting with meditation. After the participants participated in one of the four conditions, they were given a questionnaire to measure affect and tranquility, then an Attention Network Task (ANT). Affect was measured by the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Tranquility was measured using a tranquility index developed for previous research. The directed attention or executive attention functioning was measured by the attention network task (ANT). iv Executive attention functioning was higher for the meditation group rather than the no meditation group. The results also found negative affect was greater in the urban area compared to the natural area. The tranquility results showed meditation depended on setting for an effect. The nature setting with no meditation had the highest effect on tranquility. The urban area with no meditation had the lowest effect on tranquility. The results from this study are important because it gives direction for experiences that may enhance recovery from attentional fatigue and positive affect repair. The study also gives implications for urban dwellers who may find meditation is the best experience for executive attention recovery in an urban environment. However, for urban dwellers who want to improve their affect and sense of tranquility, they may find spending time in nature will be more effective. This study gives reason for future research to study the recovery of attentional fatigue and positive affect when a restorative experience is meditation in nature compared to meditation in an urban environment.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Labyrinth; Mindfullness meditation; Restorative environment
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Katie Gomm 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,057,479 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2884
ARK ark:/87278/s6xh30bp
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-05-27
Date Modified 2017-08-09
ID 196453
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6xh30bp