Individual differences in reactions towards color in simulated healthcare environments: The role of stimulus screening ability

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Abstract

The notion that the physical healthcare environment can affect our mood and behavior is well established. Despite this, individual differences in sensitivity to environmental stimuli have not received much attention. With the current research showing the importance of individual differences in sensitivity towards color, these may explain the contradictory effects found in color research. Two experiments focused on differences in environmental sensitivity, measured with stimulus screening ability. In both experiments, participants were presented with a scenario describing hospitalization with appendicitis and were exposed to a photo of a hospital room. The experiments tested the effects of environmental coloring of the hospital room (green and orange, both contrasted with white as a control condition), and the moderating role of stimulus screening ability (high-screeners vs. low-screeners) on stress (study 1) and arousal (study 2), and cognitive appraisals of the room (study 2). Stress-reducing effects of green and arousal-inducing effects of orange were both more pronounced for people scoring low on stimulus screening ability than for those who are able to effectively screen out complexity in the environment (high-screeners).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-277
JournalJournal of environmental psychology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • METIS-252906
  • IR-60334
  • Color
  • Healing environment
  • Environmental psychology
  • Stimulus screening ability
  • Stress

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