preference, tranquility, restoration, attention, houses of worship




Participants rated houses of worship for one of seven variables: preference, tranquility, age, visual richness, building care, potential for recovery from fatigued attention, and potential for reflection. Factor analysis of the preference ratings yielded four content categories: “contemporary,” “traditional,” “unusual architecture,” and “older red brick churches.” Preference was positively correlated with visual richness and building care in the contemporary and traditional categories and had a positive partial correlation with age in the traditional category. Tranquility was positively correlated with preference, building care, recovery, and reflection in the contemporary category but only with reflection in the traditional category. Tranquility was rated higher overall than preference. Preference and visual richness were lower for contemporary architecture than for the other categories, but there were no differences in tranquility. Apparently, raters felt they could achieve tranquility in most houses of worship but preferred those higher in visual richness.


Original Citation: Herzog, Thomas R., Lauren E. Gray, Amy M. Dunville, Angela M. Hicks, and Emily A. Gilson. "Preference and Tranquility for Houses of Worship." Environment and Behavior 45, no. 4 (2011): 504-525.

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