||Urban Visual Air Quality Judgments: Reliability and Validity.
Stewart, T. R. ;
Middleton, P. ;
Ely, D. ;
||National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO.;Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC. Atmospheric Sciences Research Lab.
Visual perception ;
Air quality ;
Urban areas ;
Air pollution effects(Humans)
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Visual air quality is fundamentally a human response to characteristics of the physical environment. A procedure based on judgments of human observers for measuring visual air quality in urban areas is described, and its reliability and validity are examined using the results of several studies conducted in a metropolitan area. It is concluded that the procedure provides a measure that is sufficiently reliable and valid to warrant its use in studies of the causes and consequences of changes in visual air quality. Substantial agreement was found among individuals with regard to judgments of visual air quality, but the possibility of differences between trained and untrained observers requires further investigation. The paper provides an example of methods that can be used, and issues that should be addressed, in the development of perceived environmental quality indices.