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Janet Trammell Says Natural is not Always Better in Latest Psychology Study

Janet TrammellSeaver College associate professor of psychology Janet Trammell publishes her study, “Natural Is Not Always Better: The Varied Effects of a Natural Environment and Exercise on Affect and Cognition,” in Frontiers in Psychology. The project was part of Trammell’s research endeavors during her sabbatical last academic year. 

In the study, Trammell puts two elements shown separately to improve affect and cognition—natural environments and exercise—together. Trammell’s study takes the research on natural environments further by measuring participants’ memory, attention, and executive function before and after exercise in both natural and indoor environments. While the natural environment showed improvement in cognitive tests, the natural environment tests showed lower positive affect and no significant changes in negative affect when compared with the indoor environment. Exercise improved both affect and cognition. Trammell’s findings show more nuances in the effects of nature on general emotions and cognition, particularly when paired with exercise. 

Janet Trammell joined Pepperdine’s faculty in 2012 and has since taught psychology students on topics of learning, cognition, emotion, forensics, and more. Her research, which focuses on the intersection of emotion and cognition, is published in journals including Frontiers, Cognition and Emotion, and more.

To read the full study, visit the Frontiers in Psychology digital publication.