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Nature in the Learning Environment: Exploring the Relationship Between Nature, Memory, and Mood
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: Nov 30, 2013
Pages: 234 - 240
Sources ID: 36126
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)
Numerous studies have found evidence for the restorative effects of nature, in which exposure to natural elements can improve both well-being and cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the restorative effects of nature could be captured within the context of a university learning environment. Undergraduate students were split into two groups and listened to a short lecture. One group was taught within an environment that lacked any natural presence (the “artificial” condition) whereas the other group was taught within a classroom containing some simple natural elements (the “nature-infused” condition). Knowledge retention and mood were assessed. At the end of the lecture, participants in the nature-infused environment scored significantly higher on the test of knowledge than those in the artificial environment. This trend persisted 1 week later but was nonsignificant. Mood was not affected. These findings indicate that incorporating nature into learning environments could have a beneficial effect on student knowledge retention, at least over short periods of time.