Visual perception and preference of water features in relation to environmental background
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This study investigates the hypothesis that tnere is a relationship between people's provenance from urban, suburban, and rural environments and their visual perception and preference of natural versus man-made water features.H A sample of 165 college students was surveyed, using a questionnaire in combination with a slide presentation as a survey instrument. Quantitative as well as qualitative data were gathered through slide ratings (employing the Scenic Beauty Estimation technique) and written responses. The results of the study show that, contrary to the expectations, there was in fact very little difference regarding the visual perception and preference of all three groups. Overall, moving water was preferred over still water, and natural water features were preferred over man-made designs. The preference ratings for the man-made water features that were predominantly characterized by natural aspects such as water and vegetation were comparable to the preference ratings of the natural water features.
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