Effects of virtual natural/urban environments on well-being and cognition

Study description

Are you happiest amongst the hustle and bustle of an urban street or taking a stroll by the sea? What type of environment relaxes you? These are some of the questions we’re interested in and hope you are too !

Some information about the study:

Why is this experiment being undertaken? This study aims to examine levels of restoration wellbeing and cognition through virtual, natural and urban environments and any individual differences such as your preference for different types of nature.

What is involved in this experiment and how long will it take?

This study can only be completed on a computer/laptop (Mac or Windows) and with use of a VR headset. Please contact the researcher at the bottom of the page to participate in the test. Once you have given your consent to take part in the study you will be given instructions on how to find the video on Youtube within your headset. Once you have found the video, you do not need to watch the video until prompted to do so later in the test. In the meantime you will be asked to complete the following questionnaires/tests:

  1. Demographic questions – these will be not be shared, simply used for data collection in the study.
  2. Several questions asking about your current mood and mental health over the last week, your sensitivity to noise and your experience with Virtual Reality.
  3. A cognitive task which will take 5-10 minutes followed by another mood questionnaire.
  4. Instructions to to watch the 6-minute video via YouTube using your VR headset.
  5. A further mood questionnaire and cognitive test.
  6. Some short surveys and questions asking about your attraction to/preference for/orientation towards natural and urban environments; your time spent in different environments; and your current/previous experience of living in urban and/or rural environments

The experiment should take approximately 45 minutes (this is including the time to find the video on Youtube). Please be prepared to complete the experiment in one sitting.  Once you have begun the experiment there will be instructions on how to find the video in YouTube within your Headset or mobile device within your headset.

Important: You will be asked to type in a participant ID at the beginning of the study, please write a pseudonym here. This is for your anonymity and for us to identify your data for analysis and if you wish to withdraw. Thankyou.

Can I withdraw once I have begun the experiment?
Yes, if you are uncomfortable with any aspect of this experiment or you decide you do not want your data to be used for publication, please feel free to withdraw at any time by closing the window the experiment is being run on or  email Anna at astew010@gold.ac.uk with your pseudonym so we can locate your data.

If you wish to be entered into a prize draw to win a £40.00 Amazon Voucher (Only available UK sterling), please email Anna (email given below) with your pseudonym so I can check you have completed the study.

About the Researcher
This is a Masters student project conducted by Anna Stewart under the supervision of Dr Karina Linnell and Dr Jonathan Freeman at Goldsmiths University of London, UK. If you wish to contact the researchers, please email Anna at [astew010@gold.ac.uk] or Dr Linnell at [k.j.linnell @gold.ac.uk] or Dr Freeman at  [j.freeman@gold.ac.uk].

Any questions or problems please feel free to email Anna (email address given above).

Many thanks for contributing your time, it is very much appreciated!

Participant requirements

To take part in this study you must have a Virtual Reality headset that has the Youtube VR app downloaded so you can access videos within YouTube made for VR viewing.

ID : When starting the study it will ask for your participant ID, please type here a pseudonym, this is very important so we that we can keep track of your participation and for the exclusion of data if necessary.

Other requirements:

  • Understand spoken and written English and be able to write in English.
  • You should only use a computer and VR headset for this study


Long (45+ mins)


Chance to win 1 out of 3 £40.00 Amazon vouchers. (Please email researcher to be entered into this prize draw).

Recruitment ends

February 21, 2021

Contact researcher & join study

This project was listed and is maintained by researcher .