Perceived Restorativeness Scale– 6: A Short Version of the Perceived Restorativeness Scale for Mixed (or Mobile) Devices
Most of the studies on the ability of environments to recover people’s cognitive resources have been conducted in laboratory using simulated environments (e.g., photographs, videos, or virtual reality), based on the implicit assumption that exposure to simulated environments has the same effects of exposure to real environments. However, the technical characteristics of simulated environments, such as the dynamic or static characteristics of the stimulus, critically affect their perception. Measuring perceived restorativeness in situ rather than in laboratory could increase the validity of the obtained measurements. Personal mobile devices could be useful because they allow accessing immediately online surveys when people are directly exposed to an environment. At the same time, it becomes important to develop short and reliable measuring instruments that allow a quick assessment of the restorative qualities of the environments. One of the frequently used self-report measures to assess perceived restorativeness is the “Perceived Restorativeness Scale” (PRS) based on Attention Restoration Theory. A lot of different versions have been proposed and used according to different research purposes and needs, without studying their validity. This longitudinal study reported some preliminary validation analyses on a short version of original scale, the PRS-6, developed to be quick and mobile-friendly. It is composed of 6 items assessing fascination and being-away. 102 Italian university students participated to the study, 84% female with age ranging from 18 to 47 (M = 20.7; SD = 2.9). Data were obtained through a survey online that asked them to report their perceived restorativeness of the environment they were in (and the kind of environment) and their positive emotion (Positive and Negative Affective Schedule, PANAS) once a day for seven days. Cronbach alpha and item-total correlations were used to assess reliability and internal consistency. Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) models were run to study the factorial structure (construct validity). Correlation analyses between PRS and PANAS scores were used to check discriminant validity. In the end, multigroup CFA models were used to study measurement invariance (configural, metric, scalar, strict) between different mobile devices and between day of assessment. On the whole, the PRS-6 showed good psychometric proprieties, similar to those of the original scale, and invariance across devices and days. These results suggested that the PRS-6 could be a valid alternative to assess perceived restorativeness when researchers need a brief and immediate evaluation of the recovery quality of an environment.