Midwest Social Sciences Journal




Current literature on restoration of directed attention focuses on outdoor environments, even though humans spend a significant amount of time indoors. This is especially true for college students, whose study activities commonly result in directed attention fatigue. The present research provides an important, foundational understanding of collective personality, its influence on restorativeness, and the impact of how spaces are used. These variables were examined for indoor environments on a university campus. Participants were 615 undergraduates who completed an online survey about how they use campus spaces, restorativeness of those spaces (Perceived Restorativeness Scale), and personality (IPIP-NEO-120). Key results indicated that when we examined personality combined, agreeableness and neuroticism were significant predictors of restorativeness (R2 = .15). When we examined personality holistically to predict restorativeness for study spaces, agreeableness was the only significant predictor (R2 = .03). For social spaces, agreeableness, neuroticism, and extraversion were significant predictors (R2 = .15). For break spaces, agreeableness and neuroticism were significant predictors (R2 = .10). Findings extend previous research efforts by contributing a holistic understanding of personality as a predictor of restorativeness, with agreeableness and neuroticism demonstrating consistent prediction. This relationship is additionally impacted by how a space is used. With these insights, universities can design indoor spaces that are maximally restorative for all personality types.