Research Design Connection: More on What’s Mentally Refreshing

Kuper investigated the cognitive refreshment/restoration-related implications of viewing different sorts of nature scenes. He found that, “Respondents rated flowering and autumn-colored views significantly higher in RP [restorative potential] and preference than foliated [green leaves only on trees]…Flowering plants and red or yellow autumn-colored foliage may increase users’ preference and RP.”

Rob Kuper. “Effects of Flowering, Foliation, and Autumn Colors on Preference and Restorative Potential for Designed Digital Landscape Models.”Environment and Behavior, in press,

Sally Augustin, PhD,a cognitive scientist, is the editor of Research Design Connections (, a monthly subscription newsletter and free daily blog, where recent and classic research in the social, design, and physical sciences that can inform designers’ work are presented in straightforward language. Readers learn about the latest research findings immediately, before they’re available elsewhere. Sally, who is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, is also the author of Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture (Wiley, 2009) and, with Cindy Coleman, The Designer’s Guide to Doing Research: Applying Knowledge to Inform Design (Wiley, 2012). She is a principal at Design With Science ( and can be reached at