Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography
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Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography

Edited by Daniel R. Montello

This comprehensive Handbook summarizes existing work and presents new concepts and empirical results from leading scholars in the multidisciplinary field of behavioral and cognitive geography, the study of the human mind, and activity in and concerning space, place, and environment. It provides the broadest and most inclusive coverage of the field so far, including work relevant to human geography, cartography, and geographic information science.
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Chapter 17: Environmental aesthetics

Sara Hadavi and William C. Sullivan


What do we mean by environmental aesthetics? To what does it apply, and why is it important? Employing a psychological approach, we address these questions from a non-expert’s perspective. We consider environmental aesthetics an outgrowth of human needs—part hardwired and part influenced by experiences—that provides a window into the relationships among people and places. We examine the role that information processing plays in environmental aesthetic, and explore our recurring battle with mental fatigue and the kind of settings to which we are drawn in an effort to restore ourselves. We end by considering the implications of environmental aesthetics for planning and design in terms of creating restorative environments in which people are more likely to thrive.

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