Possibilities Using Ecological Momentary Assessment for Restoration Research

There has been recent research showing nature is a “restorative environment,” or a setting that effectively enables people to recover from attentional, social, and other demands of modern/daily life. Consequentially, nature, along with other restorative environments (such as museums or natural daylight), has positive effects on people’s wellbeing, including improved attention, memory, and calmness. This research is still emerging, however, and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) can help people better understand the mechanisms behind these remarkable effects.

A few researchers from the Netherlands recently wrote a review article outlining the results of this research and how ecological momentary assessment (EMA) can help enrich the study of restoration research.

The authors made the following observations: EMA can be helpful for learning about restoration research by:

  1. Using sensors or participant-recorded data to determine detailed aspects about one’s environment while in nature “restorative characteristics”
  2. “Distinguishing intra-individual from inter-individual effects”
  3. Research about one’s environment can be done in one’s natural environment.
  4. Gaining insight from everyday interactions with restoring environments.

Further, the article discussed implications of quantified self movement, and how these recordings and how could advance research.

For more information, check out the full article here.


Beute, F., de Kort, Y., & IJsselsteijn, W. (2016). Restoration in Its Natural Context: How Ecological Momentary Assessment Can Advance Restoration ResearchInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(4), 420.


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