Herzog, T.R. 1989. A cognitive analysis of preference for urban nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology 9(1):27-43.
Preferences for urban environments containing prominent natural elements were studied as a function of content categories, viewing time, and nine predictor variables: spaciousness, refuge, coherence, legibility, complexity, mystery, typicality, nature, and age. A nonmetric factor analysis of the preference ratings for the longest viewing time yielded four dimensions: Older Buildings, Concealed Foreground, Tended Nature, and Contemporary Buildings. Tended nature was best liked, Older Building least liked, and there was very little difference in preference ratings with brief and longer viewing times. Regression analyses revealed three variables as independent positive predictors of preference: coherence, mystery, and nature. Practical and theoretical implications of the results were explored. Overall, the results support the usefulness of the Kaplans' informational model of environmental preference.