Self-report Wood Studies

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Prior to the current focus on psychophysiological measurements of wood and health there were several studies of the self-report or cognitive response type. Self-report is the most common type of study in  the field of environmental psychology. By the way, take a look on the Best Wood Chisels and Makita Drill of us.


They execute these studies through surveys, interviews, and activities such as sorting photographs of environments. They capture cognitive experience, expectations or beliefs, rather than pre-cognitive physiological reactions. In choosing a material to promote heath both types of studies are valid. It is important that a material such as wood promotes health at a pre-cognitive level, but also that people have the expectation that the material is healthy and desirable.

Health Description

In a 2004 UBC study respondents sorted architectural finishing photographs according to various health descriptions. Though this study did not measure actual health outcomes it found that respondents had an expectation that wooden surfaces contribute to human health and well- being.

Inside Background Effects

Nearly 50 photos from home decorating magazines and catalogues were shown to study participants after the proportion of surfaces in each image covered by wood were calculated. Spaces were seen as warm (i.e., pleasantly relaxed) places to be as the proportion of wooden surfaces increased up to a level of 43% wood, and fell after that proportion of wooden surfaces reached that level. Researchers determined that living rooms using 0% or 100% wood were classified as most novel, and rooms with other percentages of wood in use being classified as less novel.

Outside Background Effects

Researchers learned that “weathered wood and wood shingle are seen  as warmer, more emotional, weaker, more tender, more feminine, and more delicate than are brick, concrete block or flagstone.” These effects may, at least in part, result from the fact that “Emotionality, tenderness, and femininity are semantically related to warmth, and may derive from the relative perceptual qualities of wood and stone. Similarly, the relative weakness and tenderness ascribed to wood may be related to the physical characteristics of wood and stone.”


Two studies published by Ridoutt and colleagues in 2002, shed light on the nonverbal messages sent by wood used in interior design. Study participants were shown images of office lobbies, some of whose finishes were wood, and lobbies in which other materials were used. Firms with wooden finishes in their reception areas were seen as more prestigious than those using other materials, as well as more energetic, innovative, and comfortable. Firms using wood materials in their lobbies were felt to be more desirable organizations to work.

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