Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Summer 2015


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015


Copyright @ 2015 Paige Dunkle


This study is designed to compare how college students rate their sense of stress in the presence of garden pansies or monilophytes (ferns). The objective is to discover more ways in which students can incorporate stress-reducing elements in their workspace. 32 students were placed in a room at a desk supplemented by a single pansy or fern. The students were asked to complete a 10 minute timed survey consisting of demographic questions and statements taken from the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. The hypothesis is that students will report feeling less stressed in the presence of the flowering pansy. Results consisting of high p-values (0.2689-0.7233) show no correlation between perceived stress/positive emotions for one plant compared to the other. The evidence of this study does not support the original hypothesis, therefore it cannot be reasonably concluded that including flowers in a student’s workspace will reduce their sense of stress.