Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Ailbhe O’Reilly

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the impact of mobile phone usage within a restorative environment on participants’ mood. Most natural settings such as a park or seaside are considered a restorative environment and have been shown to improve psychological well-being, decrease stress and improve mood. The aim of this study was to investigate if these benefits on mood can still be achieved even if participants were using a mobile phone.

Participants: 60 participants (30 male/ 30 female) who attend the Institute of Art Design, and Technology in Dun Laoghaire between the ages of 18 and 26 took part.

Design: The study used a 2x2x2 between-within groups experimental design. Participants were divided into four groups: Phone + restorative environment/ No phone + restorative environment/ Phone + non-restorative environment/ no phone + non-restorative environment. Participants’ mood was measured before and after each condition using the abbreviated Profile of Moods states scale (Grove and Prappvessis, 2016).

Results: The study found that participants who used their mobile phone in a restorative environment saw an improvement in mood, but not as significant as participants who did not use their phone. This study adds to the growing area of Ecopsychology and shows the importance of being present in nature to gain maximum benefits for an individual’s mood.