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A Psychological Model Of Scenic Beauty By Silvicultural Treatment Two Growing Seasons After HarvestAuthor(s): Ying-Hung Li; Victor A. Rudis; Theresa A. Herrick
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 130-140
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionAbstract - This study estimated summer scenic beauty and associated psychological attributes of scenes depicting uncut and several cutting regimes within shortleaf pine-hardwood forests on national forests. Images were captured in the summer of 1994 in nine treated and three comparable untreated stands in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. Treatments imposed in the winter of 1992-93 included group selection, pine-hardwood shelterwood, and clearcut in north, east, and south quadrants of the region. Landscape Architecture professionals, students with professional training, and other students with no training, rated scenic beauty preferences and associated psychological attributes. Analysis of rankings showed significant differences (P(F)<0.05) in psychological attributes by treatment type and the background of judges. For all judges, more intensive cutting yielded significantly less scenic beauty, mystery, coherence, and complexity, and greater visual penetration. Legibility, a term used to describe finding one’s way, was not significantly associated with cutting treatment. Scenic beauty preferences were indistinguishable among intermediate (shelterwood and group selection) treatments, although group selection was likely the least offensive because it provided mystery, complexity, and visual penetration comparable to untreated areas. There were significant quadrant-by-treatment interactions, suggesting that local conditions also affect the impact of treatments on scenic beauty. Our results lend quantitative credence to the qualitative notion that adapting cutting practices to limit visual penetration and increase coherence, complexity, mystery, and scenic beauty can yield measurable aesthetic benefits.
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CitationLi, Ying-Hung; Rudis, Victor A.; Herrick, Theresa A. 2004. A Psychological Model Of Scenic Beauty By Silvicultural Treatment Two Growing Seasons After Harvest. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 130-140
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