When are natural and urban environments restorative? The impact of environmental compatibility on self-control restoration

Kevin P. Newman, Merrie L Brucks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research investigates the role of environmental cues found in consumer contexts on the restoration of self-control resources. In doing so, we challenge the often-repeated claim that natural environments benefit consumer well-being more than urban environments by focusing on environmental compatibility: the match between environmental characteristics and an individuals' motivational orientation. Across three studies, we find that individuals high in neuroticism experience greater self-control restoration when exposed to environmental cues associated with more anxiety while the reverse is true for individual who are low in neuroticism. Importantly, these results occur regardless of whether the environmental cues are inherent in urban consumer contexts, like a bookstore, or natural consumer contexts, like a safari vacation experience. We find preliminary process evidence that consumers low in neuroticism require fewer attentional resources when processing environmentally compatible cues, leading to self-control restoration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 29 2014

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attention restoration theory
  • Environment
  • Neuroticism
  • Self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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