In environmental psychology, the majority of studies on preference made use of direct measures which rely on participants’ explicit cognition. At an explicit level, the research in the social psychology of the environment show consistently that 1) people prefer natural environment vs. built ones; 2) people receive major psychological benefits from the connectedness with natural environment vs. built ones (e.g. Hartig & Staats 2006; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Ulrich, 1983). At an implicit level only few studies suggest a preference toward natural instead of built environment (Korpela, Klemettila & Hietanen, 2002; Schultz & Tabanico, 2004). The aim of the present research is to study the implicit preference toward natural and built environment, using a standard version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), with environmental pictures stimuli.In the present experiment, the two categories are 5 natural and 5 built pictures and the two attributes are 5 positive words and 5 negative words. The logic of IAT is that this association task should be easier when the two concepts that share a response are strongly associated as compared to when they are weakly associated.In first study (n = 22) , results show that participants were much faster in automatically associating natural pictures with positive words than associating natural pictures with negative words.In a second study (n = 48) the same natural environmental pictures of the previous study were compared with pictures of built environments having a particularly high artistic valence (Italian Renaissance squares), and which can therefore be assumed as fairly comparable to natural settings in terms of their perceived restorativeness. Results show again that the strength of association between “nature” and “positive” is still reflected in fast reaction times. In a third study (n = 55), we used the same picture stimuli of study 2 (natural vs. built/artistic settings), but this time the built pictures were identified with the label “artistic”. Results show that in this last case latency times decreases when built/artistic environments are labelled “artistic”. Natural pictures are always associated to positive words with faster latency times, but this time the reaction times are quite faster also in the association between built/artistic and positive words, so that we can assume that they are automatically evaluated in a way that is more similar to natural settings (although still not equal).Taken together, these findings seem to confirm that people prefer natural over built environments also at an automatic level. However, when built environments that present artistic features are labelled as “artistic” the difference in reaction times and therefore the preference between natural and built/artistic is attenuated. This might also suggest the role of cultural and social construction processes also in the psychological mechanisms involved in the formation of environmental preference.