How does previous experience affect preference in an environment for outdoor recreation? : using the PSD model to identify environments for different outdoor recreation needs
Sammanfattning: This study investigates how previous experience affect preference of environments for outdoor recreation. The Perceived Sensory Dimensions model was used to categorise perceived qualities at preferred places. A survey with 10 questions was sent out in social media and in a newsletter to all members of the Swedish Outdoor Association. A total of 716 responses were analysed by mixing methods, combining quantitative with qualitative analyses. Statistics were analysed with descriptive tools, and descriptions of nature were analysed with a thematic method, then integrated interpretations were made. The respondents were divided in three groups depending on previous experience. The result showed support for the importance of nature areas near dwellings (within 5-10 minutes) regardless of previous experience. All practitioners in the study preferred serene nature areas with trees, water, views, and nature sounds. The group with least experience showed more interest in areas with social support, and they were in general younger and less stressed than the more experienced. Practitioners with high experience preferred biodiverse nature without trails, away from other people and disturbance. The group with average experience suffered more frequent from stress than the other groups and might not seek restoration as often as they need. Overall, results suggest that the average and high experience groups might consist of individuals that are more sensitive in relation to environmental stimuli than novice practitioners and thus have a stronger need for outdoor recreation in serene natural settings. Most respondents seek solitude in such environments, and it is therefore vital to offer enough areas with those qualities to cover people’s needs. Further studies could dig deeper in reasons for possible differences in sensitivity between experience groups, why novice nature visitors are younger, and how place attachment affect choices of environments for outdoor recreation.
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