The nature of impulsivity: Visual exposure to natural environments decreases impulsive decision-making in a delay discounting task

Meredith S. Berry, Mary M. Sweeney, Justice Morath, Amy L. Odum, Kerry E. Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The benefits of visual exposure to natural environments for human well-being in areas of stress reduction, mood improvement, and attention restoration are well documented, but the effects of natural environments on impulsive decision-making remain unknown. Impulsive decision-making in delay discounting offers generality, predictive validity, and insight into decision-making related to unhealthy behaviors. The present experiment evaluated differences in such decision-making in humans experiencing visual exposure to one of the following conditions: natural (e.g., mountains), built (e.g., buildings), or control (e.g., triangles) using a delay discounting task that required participants to choose between immediate and delayed hypothetical monetary outcomes. Participants viewed the images before and during the delay discounting task. Participants were less impulsive in the condition providing visual exposure to natural scenes compared to built and geometric scenes. Results suggest that exposure to natural environments results in decreased impulsive decision-making relative to built environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere97915
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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