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Forest landscape assessment: the effects of pre-experience education on public perception of scenic beautyAuthor(s): Chad D. Pierskalla; Kevin E. Saunders; David W. McGill; David A. Smaldone
Source: In: LeBlanc, Cherie; Vogt, Christine, comps. Proceedings of the 2007 northeastern recreation research symposium; 2007 April 15-17; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-23. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 70-76.
Publication Series: Other
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionAldo Leopold argued for a type of "ecological aesthetic," where perceptions of natural landscape beauty are tied to an understanding of the natural process of forests. The purpose of this study is to examine how education affects perceptions of scenic beauty. Thirty-two students were assigned to four groups, with each group participating in a different educational program (i.e., no pre-educational experience, lecture only, lecture/video, and lecture/ video/walk-in-the-woods) related to forest settings. After the educational treatments were administered, the students viewed six video clips taken in a forest setting and asked to evaluate scenic beauty (0=very low scenic beauty to 100=very high scenic beauty) by turning a handheld dial throughout the viewing period. Pre-educational experience was found to significantly influence moment-to-moment scenic beauty ratings (p<.001). Students participating in a walk in the woods reported the highest and most varied average scenic beauty ratings, suggesting that sustainable forest ecosystems are better appreciated following firsthand experience.
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CitationPierskalla, Chad D.; Saunders, Kevin E.; McGill, David W.; Smaldone, David A. 2008. Forest landscape assessment: the effects of pre-experience education on public perception of scenic beauty. In: LeBlanc, Cherie; Vogt, Christine, comps. Proceedings of the 2007 northeastern recreation research symposium; 2007 April 15-17; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-23. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 70-76.
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