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An occasion for unselfing: Beautiful nature leads to prosociality

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Abstract

Past studies have documented interpersonal benefits of natural environments. Across four studies, we tested the hypothesis that exposure to more beautiful nature, relative to less beautiful nature, increases prosocial behavior. Study 1 yielded correlational evidence indicating that participants prone to perceiving natural beauty reported greater prosocial tendencies, as measured by agreeableness, perspective taking, and empathy. In Studies 2 and 3, exposure to more beautiful images of nature (versus less beautiful images of nature) led participants to be more generous and trusting. In Study 4, exposure to more beautiful (versus less beautiful) plants in the laboratory room led participants to exhibit increased helping behavior. Across studies, we provide evidence that positive emotions and tendencies to perceive natural beauty mediate and moderate the association between beauty and prosociality. The current studies extend past research by demonstrating the unique prosocial benefits of beautiful nature.

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... reported that positive emotions mediate the association between exposure to greenery perceived as beautiful and prosocial behaviour among adults. Positive emotional states due to exposure to nature can lead to prosocial tendencies by changing a person's mental frame from an individual to a collective mental frame or "unselfing" process -(i.e., from self-interest to an interest outward towards other people, e.g., enhancing the willingness or intention to comfort and help others) (Schwartz et al., 2019;Zhang et al., 2014). In addition, Goldy and Piff (2020) argued that contact with the natural environment can increase attention to others and enhance prosocial behaviour through psychological processes whereby those environments generate positive effects that include the feeling of awe and a perception of beauty. ...
... Current literature indicates that mediators may influence this association. A study conducted among adult samples by Zhang et al. (2014) confirmed that mental health and wellbeing aspects (e.g., positive emotions) mediated the association between green space exposure and prosocial behaviour. In addition, Chen et al. (2019) reported bidirectional relationships between subjective well-being and prosocial behaviour among elementary school-aged children, of which, wellbeing leads to greater prosocial behaviour. ...
... Positive emotionality due to exposure to green space later can lead to prosocial behaviour. A study by Zhang et al. (2014) in adults found that positive emotions mediated the association between beautiful greenery in the lab setting and prosocial behaviour. Goldy and Piff (2020) also suggest that exposure to nature can enhance prosocial behaviour due to increased positive emotions. ...
Thesis
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Background: While a legion of evidence indicates green spaces (e.g., parks) support health, there is a paucity of studies investigating their potential role in the development of prosocial behaviour (i.e., a range of behaviours that benefit others or promote positive relationships with others) across childhood and adolescence. The review of current evidence suggests that exposure to nearby green space may increase prosocial behaviour, but most of the evidence is cross-sectional, hindering causal inferences and understandings of temporality. Furthermore, most of this research has focused on the quantity of green space (i.e., the amount of green space available in the residential environment), neglecting the potentially critical importance of green space quality (i.e., aspects or attributes of green space that influence its utilisation) as a key determinant in its use and in the development of prosocial behaviour. Besides, candidate mediators and effect modifiers have not been comprehensively examined by previous studies, limiting understandings of plausible pathways and potential contingencies in who benefits. Therefore, research on green space quality and prosocial behaviour is important to improve the quality of current evidence and inform avenues on how to maximise the role of green space in shaping the development of prosocial behaviour. Enhancing the development of prosocial behaviour from a young age is important due to health, psychological, and social benefits. Aims: This PhD thesis primarily aimed to examine the longitudinal association between green space quality and prosocial behaviour among children and adolescents. This thesis also investigated whether the accumulation of, or changes in, green space quality during childhood and adolescence were associated with the development of prosocial behaviour. Potential effect modifiers of the association and plausible pathways in which green space quality may influence prosocial behaviour were also assessed. In addition, the potential role of prosocial behaviour as a missing link – a candidate mediating variable – on the causal chain from green space quality to child health-related outcomes was tested. Methods: This thesis used 10-year longitudinal data retrieved from the K-cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Data pertaining to green space quality, child prosocial behaviour, health-related outcomes (mental health, physical activity, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL)), and socioeconomic measures were biennially recorded from 4,983 children for a 10-year period, from 2004 (children aged 4-5 years: Wave 1) to 2014 (14-15 years: Wave 6). Green space quality was measured using caregiver reports on the availability of good parks, playgrounds, and play spaces in the neighbourhood. Caregivers also evaluated their child’s prosocial behaviour using the prosocial subscale from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Multilevel linear regression was applied to assess the association between green space quality and prosocial behaviour. Trajectories in green space quality experienced across childhood and adolescence were examined using latent class analysis. Causal mediation analysis was used to identify mechanistic pathways between green space quality and prosocial behaviour, as well as to test prosocial behaviour as a candidate mediator of the associations between green space quality and child health-related outcomes. Results: The presence of quality neighbourhood green space was positively associated with child prosocial behaviour, irrespective of residential relocation. In addition, children whose caregiver perception of green space quality was ‘very good’ over time, trended from ‘good’ to ‘very good’ or from ‘very good’ to ‘good’ had higher prosocial behaviour than children of caregivers who consistently perceived nearby green space as low in quality. Evidence also indicated that the accumulation of very good quality green space over time may attenuate socioeconomic inequalities in prosocial behaviour. The association between green space quality and prosocial behaviour was found to be stronger among boys, children speaking only English at home, and children living in more affluent and/or remote areas. Moreover, physical activity enjoyment, social interaction, child and caregiver mental health, and HRQOL served as mechanistic pathways in which green space quality influenced prosocial behaviour. Prosocial behaviour was found as a mediator of the associations between green space quality and child health (mental health, HRQOL), and physical activity enjoyment. Conclusions: The findings indicate that policies on provisioning and maintaining the quality of green space across childhood and adolescence in a targeted manner (e.g., prioritised in more disadvantaged and remote areas) can potentially buffer the negative impact of growing up in unfavourable socioeconomic circumstances and foster the development of prosocial behaviour. Improving the quality of neighbourhood green space that also encourages social interactions, physical activity enjoyment, and mental health might provide better support for the development of prosocial behaviour and vice versa. In addition, ensuring the neighbourhood to be safe and friendly for ethnic minorities is vital as it removes impediments to such populations gaining benefits from quality green space. Furthermore, identifying attributes of quality green space suitable for both boys and girls, and children from different age groups forms an important next step to maximise the benefits of quality green space for all.
... Even incidental exposure to nature in the lab, by looking at pictures of nature instead of pictures of urban environments can enhance prosociality [30]. Research documents two characteristics/qualities of natural environments that drive our orientation to others and their needs: feelings of awe [31] and perception of beauty [32,33]. Awe involves positively valenced feelings of wonder and amazement and, at least in Western cultures, comes up in encounters with nature like sunsets, scenic vistas, and mountain ranges [9,34]. ...
... Fortunately, awe is not the only dimension that triggers increased social connection. The perception of beauty in natural environments can also increase prosocial tendencies [32,33]. Participants exposed to a beautiful nature report increased positivity and, as a consequence, behave more prosocial and are more willing to incur costs for the benefit of other participants [32,33]. ...
... The perception of beauty in natural environments can also increase prosocial tendencies [32,33]. Participants exposed to a beautiful nature report increased positivity and, as a consequence, behave more prosocial and are more willing to incur costs for the benefit of other participants [32,33]. In one set of experiments, participants who viewed beautiful nature pictures were more generous in an economic game than those who viewed more mundane nature images, and participants exposed to beautiful plants provided more help by constructing origami figures for tsunami victims than those exposed to more ordinary plants [33]. ...
Article
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An emergent body of evidence shows the impact of exposure to nature on prosocial attitudes and interpersonal relationships. This study examines relationships between green space (GS) attendance, perceived beauty of the space, perceived crowdedness of the space, and prosocial behavior. A cross-sectional study with snowball sampling was conducted in April 2020. All participants (N = 1206) responded to an online survey that included a French version of the social value orientation slider measure (used as a proxy for prosocial behavior), questions about the lockdown, and their GS attendance. After retaining only participants who had visited a GS at least once since the beginning of their lockdown (N = 610), multiple linear regressions showed that social orientation scores demonstrated associations with the interaction between GS attendance and perceived crowdedness of the GS, suggesting that attending low crowded GS is linked to increasing prosociality. These results provide insight into the roles that GS can have during a health crisis and suggest some practical implications.
... Research suggests that perceived aesthetic quality predicts the psychological benefits of exposure to nature (Van den Berg, Koole, & van der Wulp, 2003;Zhang, Piff, Iyer, Koleva, & Keltner, 2014). Of relevance, the presence of water is a key determining feature of the aesthetic appeal of natural environments (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989;Nasar & Li, 2004). ...
... Supporting Maslow's (1962) contention that peak experiences can facilitate personal transformation, experiencing awe has been linked with life satisfaction (Rudd, Vohs, & Aaker, 2012) and pro-social behavior (Piff, Dietze, Feinberg, Stancato, & Keltner, 2015;Zhang et al., 2014). Awe has also been found to induce a state referred to as the "small self" (Piff et al., 2015), which involves a reduction in self-focused attention and it is likely that this state contributes to the experience of flow states and spiritual experiences in surfers. ...
... The natural environments that surfing is conducted in may help build social bonds, as previous research suggests that beautiful natural environments can increase pro-social behavior (Weinstein, Przybylski, & Ryan, 2009;Zhang et al., 2014), facilitate social interactions (Ruso & Atzwanger, 2003), and reduce aggressive behavior (Kuo & Sullivan, 2001a, 2001bPoon, Teng, Wong, & Chen, 2016). In addition to facilitating positive interpersonal encounters, previous research also suggests that awe-inspiring nature increases broader feelings of connectedness to humanity (Piff et al., 2015;Shiota et al., 2007;Van Cappellen & Saroglou, 2012), which may also help satisfy the human need to feel connected. ...
Article
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There is growing interest in surfing as a recreational activity that may facilitate skill development and improved mental health. However, there remains uncertainty regarding the causal processes through which surfing may improve psychological well-being. With the aim to guide future research, we review potential mechanisms that may underpin the psychotherapeutic effects of surfing. A range of plausible factors are identified, including exercise, water immersion, exposure to sunlight, transcendent experiences, reductions in rumination and the satisfaction of basic psychological needs. Further research is needed to clarify the effectiveness of surfing-based therapies and to establish the relative contributions of the causal mechanisms at play.
... Die Menschen in der Natur-Gruppe verhielten sich danach kooperativer in einem ökonomischen Spiel (Fishing Dilemma; Zelenski, Dopko, & Capaldi, 2015). In einer Laborstudie wurde weiters festgestellt, dass eine einminütige, 10-seitige Slideshow von schönen (versus weniger schönen) Naturbildern prosoziales Verhalten in einem ökonomischen Spiel (Dictator Game) induziert (Zhang, Piff, Iyer, Koleva, & Keltner, 2014). Da die Naturbilder keine expliziten Anweisungen und Information zum erwünschten Umgang mit Müll geben, sondern sich auf intuitive Reaktionen stützen, sind sie eine System-1-Maßnahme. ...
... Das Augenpaar (Abbildung 4) wurde auf ein A1-Poster gedruckt.Der Kontakt mit schöner Natur kann prosoziales Verhalten begünstigen. In der Literatur wird schöne Natur definiert als eine Darstellung von Wasser, Himmel, natürlichen hellen Farben und generell ohne jede Spur menschlicher Beteiligung (vgl.Vining, Merrick, & Price, 2008;Zhang et al., 2014). Unsere Maßnahme besteht aus einem Foto des Wiener Naturschutzgebiets Donauauen (Abbildung 5), das diese Kriterien erfüllt. ...
... Die vorliegenden Resultate sind die erste wissenschaftliche Überprüfung der in der Praxis häufig eingesetzten Naturbilder. Bestehende Erkenntnisse aus Laborstudien zur Wirksamkeit von Naturbildern auf Verhalten(Weinstein et al., 2009;Zhang et al., 2014) konnten im Ansatz bestätigt werden.Die vorliegenden Resultate erlauben somit die praktische Empfehlung, bei kommunikativen Maßnahmen eher auf System 1 als System 2 zu setzen. Das heißt, nicht wortreiche Erklärungen, die versuchen zu überzeugen, sondern intuitive Maßnahmen, die implizit wirken. ...
Experiment Findings
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Unclean waste disposal areas resulting from littering are a source of unease to residents and create significant cleaning costs. The aim of this study was to develop behavioral-economic interventions to reduce littering based on a field experiment in around 400 waste disposal areas (frequented by more than 70.000 people). Four interventions in the form of posters were developed in line with behavioral-economic and psychological principles. These posters were designed to evoke fast and automatic responses (system 1), or slower and more deliberative ones (system 2). System-1 posters presented watching eyes and images of nature whereas system-2 posters displayed information on financial consequences of incorrect waste disposal and explanatory pictograms. Short-term (48 hours) and long-term (seven weeks) effects of these interventions were explored based on pictures taken from the floor in a pre-post-design including a control condition. Results revealed a high level of average cleanliness in the waste disposal areas. However, outdoor areas were cleaner than indoor areas. The relative amount of waste in the containers and the size of the residential complexes correlated positively with uncleanliness. Results indicate that system-1 interventions (eyes, nature) are more likely to improve cleanliness than system-2 interventions (financial consequences, pictograms). Nonetheless, because of the high level of overall cleanness, no poster lead to better results than the control condition. Possibly, people perceive system-2 interventions as authoritarian and respond to them negatively, while system-1 interventions are an implicit reminder to dispose waste correctly. In this report, practical implications, theoretical and methodological contributions, and limitations are discussed. A short video on the project is also available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yJ7CJJZoNo
... The latter refers to unlawful, morally unacceptable, or dishonest behavior [12]. Zhang et al. (2014) found that a beautiful environment triggers more pro-social behavior [13]. Moral intention is an individual's subjective determination to act in a moral or immoral manner. ...
... The latter refers to unlawful, morally unacceptable, or dishonest behavior [12]. Zhang et al. (2014) found that a beautiful environment triggers more pro-social behavior [13]. Moral intention is an individual's subjective determination to act in a moral or immoral manner. ...
... In general, these findings are consistent with the idea that the environment is related to behavior [1,2,10,23]. Previous research found that emotion influences moral and immoral behaviors; positive emotions lead to an increase in moral behavior, and negative emotions lead to an increase in immoral behavior [13,19,39]. Therefore, for the changes in behavioral intention for moral and immoral behaviors, we found that positive emotion activated by the environment with a high aesthetic value and negative emotion activated by the environment with a low aesthetic value can lead to a difference in behavioral intention. ...
Article
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The environment affects moral behavior. Previous research found that a beautiful environment leads to pro-social behavior, which is related to behavioral intention. However, the effect of environmental aesthetic value on immoral and moral behavior remains unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we explored the effect of environmental aesthetic value on behavioral intention and its possible mechanisms. We conducted four experiments. Experiment 1 adopted the priming paradigm and IAT paradigm to explore the relationship between environmental aesthetic value and behavioral intention. It used photographs of the environment as priming stimuli and scene drawings of behavior as target stimuli. The results showed that participants had a higher intention to engage in moral behavior in an environment with a high aesthetic value, and a lower intention to engage in immoral behavior, compared to in an environment with a low aesthetic value. Similarly, an environment with a low aesthetic value was related to immoral behavior. Experiment 2 further explored the possible mechanism for the above results: changes in moral judgment. The results showed that moral judgment in different environments may lead to different behavioral intentions. The current study extends prior research by demonstrating the effect of environmental aesthetic value on behavioral intention and moral judgment, and good knowledge about the relationship between environmental aesthetic value and moral behavior. In addition, it provides a new hypothesis for the relationship between environment and behavior according to the results of the environment–behavior matching hypothesis, which can provide a new perspective on moral education.
... Positive associations between certain individual constructs that emphasize other human beings and nature connectedness have been recurrently theorized and empirically described in the literature, building on the body of psychological research on universal values, the self, and interpersonal relationships. These constructs include collective/self-transcendence values, attitudes, and traits such as agreeableness and prosocial personalities (Clayton 2003;Nisbet et al. 2009;Zhang et al. 2014;Olivos and Clayton 2017). Different processes may explain these associations. ...
... While nature exposure may lead to increased nature connectedness, reciprocally, nature connectedness may lead to increased exposure to nature that in turn may elicit higher prosocial perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. Studies suggest that the latter relationship may be mediated by emotions such as feelings of awe and the perception of beauty (Zhang et al. 2014;Goldy and Piff 2020). The former shift attention away from oneself (Piff et al. 2015;Goldy and Piff 2020), and the latter increases positivity, which are thought to ultimately increase prosociality (Zhang et al. 2014;Goldy and Piff 2020). ...
... Studies suggest that the latter relationship may be mediated by emotions such as feelings of awe and the perception of beauty (Zhang et al. 2014;Goldy and Piff 2020). The former shift attention away from oneself (Piff et al. 2015;Goldy and Piff 2020), and the latter increases positivity, which are thought to ultimately increase prosociality (Zhang et al. 2014;Goldy and Piff 2020). In a review of the studies on the links between greenspaces and prosocial behaviors among children, Edi Putra et al. (2020) proposed complementary explanations based on theories on the relationships between urban greenspaces and health. ...
Article
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Identifying the determinants of people’s connection with nature is crucial for the future of nature conservation. The sense of connection with nature may be defined as how one relates to the natural world or sees oneself as part of it. A part of this connection is related to what is called “Environmental Identity”, which begins to form early in life under the influence of experiences with nature. Differentiated traits of appreciation of one’s “environments”—defined as the things, places, and people surrounding individuals throughout their lifetime—have been described in psychological studies on personality. Theorized as “General Orientations,” these consist of specific forms of selectivity in individuals’ attention, which differs from their values and encourages them to respond to certain stimuli in a specific way. The literature describes two general orientations, namely toward the social environment or “people” (PO) and toward the physical environment or “things” (TO). Despite the potential contributions of PO and TO for the study of nature connectedness, few attempts have been made to explore how these dimensions interrelate. Here, we analyzed survey responses from the ELIPSS panel, a representative sample of the French adult metropolitan population (N = 1788), to test the hypothesis that General Orientations, especially PO, as a personality-like trait are related to higher EID. We found that PO and TO were positively correlated with EID (strongly and moderately, respectively), and appeared to mediate the association between gender and EID. These findings raise the question as to whether General Orientations correspond to different ways of building connections with nature.
... Research also suggests that different physical environments can trigger different emotions [14] and that emotion plays an important role in moral judgment [15][16][17]. For example, a beautiful environment was associated with positive emotion [18]. Positive emotions can lead individuals to make more tolerant moral judgments [19,20]. ...
... Metaphor is always associated with individual experience, [25][26][27][28][29] and it can actively influence an individual's thoughts and behaviors in a deeply subconscious manner. The metaphor was important in the relation between environment and morality [18,30,31]. For example, researchers found that physical factors, such as color, size, brightness, and distance, were related to moral judgements [32][33][34][35][36][37][38]. ...
Article
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The physical environment plays an important role in moral cognition. Previous research has demonstrated that the physical environment affects individual moral judgment. Investigators have argued that the environment influences moral judgment through emotion and cognition, such as during metaphor processing. Following the intensification of urbanization and increases in population size, the phenomenon of a narrow environment has become more common. However, the relation between environmental spaciousness and moral judgment has not been thoroughly examined. We examined the effect of environmental spaciousness (spaciousness vs. narrowness) on moral judgments in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2. Results showed that participants report a higher rating score of moral judgment in more spacious environments compared with narrow environments. We further explored the roles of emotion and metaphor in the relation between environmental spaciousness and moral judgments. We found support for a partial mediation effect of emotion in the relationship between environmental spaciousness and moral judgment. The results also supported an association between the concept of spaciousness and tolerant cognition. Spacious environments may elicit positive emotions and more tolerant cognition, which in turn influences moral judgment. These results provide new evidence for the influence of the environment on moral judgments, and more attention may be warranted to incorporate this relationship in environmental design.
... Literature in environmental psychology has addressed the importance of the physical environment for psychological well-being, such as mood, emotion states and/or stress reduction (Bringslimark et al. 2009;Kahn et al. 2008;Mayer et al. 2009;Nisbet and Zelenski 2011;Ryan et al. 2010;Ulrich 1986;Ulrich et al. 1991). Short-term exposure to different physical environments via videos and/or images has been experimentally demonstrated to have a substantial impact on prosocial behavior such as helping and generosity (Gueguen and Stefan 2014;Ryan et al. 2010;Weinstein et al. 2009;Zhang et al. 2014). However, to date, little is known about how long-term exposure to different physical environments in real life influences prosocial preferences and behavior, as noted in Weinstein et al. (2009) and Keniger et al. (2013). ...
... Past studies have analyzed the relationship between short-term exposure to different physical environments and prosociality by conducting laboratory experiments. Using dictator and trust games, Zhang et al. (2014) found that exposure to images (one minute) of perceived beautiful nature induces greater prosociality than exposure to scenes of less beautiful nature due to feelings of positive emotions. Using a decomposed SVO game, Zelenski et al. (2015) documented that viewing natural scenes via video leads to more prosocial SVOs than watching building views due to an increase (decrease) in self-control (materialistic) aspiration. ...
Article
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Topographical variation is hypothesized to directly and indirectly influence social value orientations (SVOs) through the two channels of physical environment and urbanization. To examine the effects of topography on SVOs in urbanization, we conduct field surveys in mountainous, hilly and plains areas of Beijing, collecting sociodemographic information and SVOs. Our results demonstrate that higher proportions of proself people are found in plains and hilly areas than in mountainous areas, reflecting topographical differences in people’s SVOs. Overall, our results suggest that a new social mechanism is necessary to direct people’s social preferences toward prosociality when more people live in plains and hilly areas; otherwise, important social issues, such as air pollution, which require cooperation for solutions, might pose a danger in the future.
... On the other hand, benefits of exposure to nature of physiological, psychological and social wellbeing have been well documented. To list a few examples, those include: (a) promoting public health and wellbeing (McEwan et al., 2020), (b) psychological wellbeing (Gillis and Gatersleben, 2015), (c) development of prosocial behavior (Zhang et al., 2014) and pro-environmental behavior (Lumber et al., 2017), (d) improved state body image mediated by self-compassion (Swami et al., 2019), (e) improved cognition and affect for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD; Berman et al., 2012), (f) potential reduction in ADHD symptoms severity (Faber Taylor and Kuo, 2011), and (g) lower rates of Schizophrenia associated with natural surroundings (Engemann et al., 2020). ...
... These findings indicate that both meditative practices and exposure to nature are underpinned by common mechanisms (such as cognitive [e.g., decentering, effortless attention], emotional [e.g., emotional regulation, positive emotional state], and psychological [e.g., compatibility]). This is also aligned with previous research, which suggests the emotions that underpin social connectedness are the same for nature connectedness (Petersen and colleagues, 2019), and further supported by literature that identifies pro-social behaviors (e.g., Zhang et al., 2014) and pro-environmental behaviors (e.g., Lumber et al., 2017) associated with exposure to nature. connection to the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. ...
Preprint
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This paper attempted to answer the question “How and to what extent does exposure to nature induce nondual compassion in adults?”. An integrative literature review was conducted, primarily based on peer-reviewed journal papers published since 2010 in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, environmental psychology and ecopsychology. The research indicates a potential for exposure to nature to induce nondual compassion by creating a cognitive space, allowing for effortless attention, cognitive restoration, decentering, and insight. Decentering can lead to interdependence (being one with nature; i.e., a state of nonduality). This state of nondual awareness is suggested to be a meditator and a pre-requisite to manifesting nondual compassion. This research also proposes a definition for nondual compassion that encompasses an innate state of nondual awareness, insight through metacognition of nondual awareness, and a manifestation into the physical world to alleviate others’ suffering (nature and people alike). The findings indicate that restorative environments have distinct features such as extent (spatial and temporal scope), sensory accumulation effect (effect from each additional sense stimulated) and perceived coherence (compatibility) that can inform the foundational design guidelines for integration of nature in cities. The significance of this study is that it presents nature exposure as a potential and a novel solution for combating global social and environmental challenges by inducing nondual compassion. The study is primarily limited by time constraint inhibiting undertaking a systematic literature review. A comprehensive literature review and empirical experimental research are recommended to substantiate the initial findings and develop a biophilic design framework. Keywords: compassion, nondual awareness, nature connectedness, restorative environment, neuroscience
... Another strength of this research is the use of heterogeneous environmental stimuli. Previous studies seldom defined nature experiences clearly, and when they did, they tended to differentiate them by subjective perceptions (e.g., beauty; Zhang et al., 2014) rather than objective features. The difficulty of using heterogenous stimuli is exacerbated by the diversity of physical features in nature. ...
... First, while most of our nature stimuli (except LR-LS) are perceived as more beautiful than urban stimuli, perceived beauty does not explain the interaction effect. This is in contrast to previous findings that beautiful nature leads to higher prosociality than less beautiful nature (Zhang et al., 2014). A possible explanation is that our nature scenarios require participants to contemplate the environmental features, which is cognitively more engaging than passive viewing of beautiful images. ...
Article
Social dominance orientation (SDO) has been reported to predict attitudes and behavior toward the natural environment. This research investigated whether dispositional connectedness with and temporary exposure to nature would reversely alter SDO. Two studies reported consistent results: Nature connectedness predicted lower SDO, and exposure to nature (vs. urban) decreased SDO only among nature-connected people. Moreover, the effect of nature exposure was strongest when the environment registered high security features. Study 2 generalized the findings on SDO to people’s policy support for marginalized groups in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings are discussed in the light of the transition from people-to-nature connections to interpersonal connections and the heterogeneity of nature’s effect. We conclude by discussing the importance of nature exposure, of which people have been deprived since the global lockdown, in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Positive emotionality due to exposure to green space later can lead to prosocial behaviour. A study by Zhang et al. (2014) in adults found that positive emotions mediated the association between beautiful greenery in the lab setting and prosocial behaviour. Goldy and Piff (2020) also suggest that exposure to nature can enhance prosocial behaviour due to increased positive emotions. ...
... On the other hand, children with mental health problems such as conduct disorders and emotional problems may have difficulties in developing and maintaining friendships, which in turn, negatively affects their prosocial development (Ogundele, 2018). Evidence from experimental studies among adults found that positive emotional state mediated the association between perceiving nature as beautiful and prosocial behaviour (Zhang et al., 2014). Positive emotionality due to exposure to nature can increase attention towards others (Goldy and Piff, 2020). ...
Article
Potential pathways linking green space quality to prosocial behaviour have not been investigated so far. This study aimed to examine 15 candidate mediators of the association between green space quality and prosocial behaviour across physical activity, social interaction, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), child and caregiver mental health. This study analysed data of 4,969 children aged 4-5 years that were observed for 10 years (2004-2014), retrieved from Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Caregiver perceptions of the availability of good neighbourhood parks, play spaces, and playgrounds were used to evaluate green space quality. Prosocial behaviour was measured based on caregiver reports of the prosocial subscale from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Causal mediation analysis was used to fit each candidate mediator in a single mediation model. Additional analyses were conducted to strengthen the findings by modelling green space quality, candidate mediators with child-reported prosocial behaviour. Findings from this study suggest weak evidence of physical activity mediation, with only physical activity enjoyment displaying moderate mediation consistency. Child social interaction and caregiver mental health showed low mediation consistency. In addition, moderate-to-high and low-to-high mediation consistency was found for child mental health and HRQOL indicators, respectively. Mediation by candidate mediators appeared to manifest more in late childhood. Mediation models using child-reported prosocial behaviour tended to show weaker mediation compared to caregiver-reported prosocial behaviour models. To conclude, green space quality may indirectly influence prosocial behaviour among children via several pathways. Improving the quality of neighbourhood green space may support physical activity enjoyment, social interaction, mental health among children, which may potentially foster the development of prosocial behaviour.
... Individuals who report feeling connected to the natural world also report that the connection is an important part of their sense of self (Mayer & Frantz, 2004) and connectedness with nature has been associated with feelings of community, psychological well-being, and openness to experience (Mayer & Frantz, 2004;Zhang, Howell, et al., 2014;Zhang, Piff, et al., 2014). Those who are more engaged with nature's beauty are more likely to be prone to dispositional awe (Güsewell & Ruch, 2012b;Zhang & Keltner, 2016). ...
... Similar to the overview effect (Yaden et al., 2016), the "underview" effect, experiencing the underwater world as described in this capstone, elicits a remarkable sense of connectedness with nature. Such connectedness with nature may promote psychological well-being through openness to experience (Mayer & Frantz, 2004;Zhang, Howell, et al., 2014;Zhang, Piff, et al., 2014), reduced levels of materialism (Joye et al., 2020), and overall well-being Gordon et al., 2017). While scuba diving is not an activity that is suitable for all, everyone can seek to spend more time in nature, and appreciate it in all of its complexity and beauty. ...
Article
This capstone seeks to explore the complex emotion of awe and the effects of flow and anxiety on the experience of awe in scuba diving. Scuba diving is a strong elicitor of awe and is a challenging, high risk activity requiring both technical skill and a calm mind. In this mixed methods study, awe elicited by scuba diving was studied immediately following a scuba dive (Study 1) and via the internet through recollection tasks (Study 2). Results of Study 1 indicate that in the context of scuba diving, flow is correlated with the connectedness component of awe. Results of Study 2 indicate that when scuba diving experiences are recalled using a writing task (1) awe is experienced differently based on context, (2) flow is correlated with Composite Awe and negatively correlated with anxiety, (3) flow is correlated with the vastness, altered time perception and connectedness components of awe, when recalling a positive dive experience, and (4) anxiety is correlated with the small-self and accommodation components of awe when recalling a negative dive experience. This study reveals additional complexity in the study of awe, leads to further understanding of the subcomponents of the experience of awe, and provides evidence that in the experience of awe – context matters.
... Hedonic wellbeing is characterized by pleasure and happiness, whereas eudaimonic wellbeing emphasizes a feeling of meaning and purposefulness, a life that fulfills its potential. Exposure to nature appears to have both hedonic and eudaimonic effects: in addition to the effects on positive emotions, researchers have found that exposure to beautiful nature is associated with prosocial tendencies, including empathy, generosity, trust in others, and ethical decision-making [9,[21][22][23]. Experiences of nature may enhance eudaimonic wellbeing by encouraging self-transcendence and a feeling of connection to something larger-that is, by affecting the way in which people think about themselves [20,21,24]. ...
... Experiences of nature may enhance eudaimonic wellbeing by encouraging self-transcendence and a feeling of connection to something larger-that is, by affecting the way in which people think about themselves [20,21,24]. Views of natural environments can encourage a sense of humility as well as connection [23]. Might experiences of polluted nature have a parallel negative impact? ...
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Research indicates that beautiful nature can have positive impacts. Does polluted nature have a corresponding negative impact? This paper presents two experiments investigating the impact of viewing images of natural settings, on a college campus, that do or do not contain litter. The moderating role of environmental identity was also examined. Study 1 showed that landscapes with litter evoked more negative emotions among a sample of 332 U.S. residents on MTurk than did landscapes without litter. Surprisingly, natural landscapes did not have a more positive effect than images of buildings. In Study 2, using an MTurk sample of 310 U.S. residents, results were similar to Study 1 but were qualified by an interaction between condition and EID: those high in EID were more strongly affected by the images. These results suggest that viewing polluted landscapes can have a negative effect on emotions (hedonic wellbeing), and that these effects are stronger among those who have a stronger relationship with nature. There was no evidence for an impact on eudaimonic wellbeing as represented by a sense of meaning, efficacy, or ethicality. Given the continuing degradation of our natural environment, further research on the impacts of polluted landscapes is needed.
... Finally, the present study explores whether outdoor experiences in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic relate to prosocial behavior. Past work has found that nature experiences predict prosocial behavior (Weinstein et al., 2009;Zhang et al., 2014;Joye and Bolderdijk, 2015;Castelo et al., 2021;Pirchio et al., 2021), in particular, environmentally protective prosocial behavior (Lawrence, 2012;Klein and Hilbig, 2018;Rosa et al., 2018). As such, we explored whether changes to outdoor experiences (e.g., increased time in the outdoors) related to two possible types of prosocial behavior: prosocial behavior directed toward other humans, and prosocial behavior directed at the environment. ...
... We expected that individuals who benefited from time spent outdoors during the pandemic to be motived to donate to a nature conservation fund in lieu of an Amazon gift card or a COVID-19 Relief Fund. We expected this because past work has found that experiences in nature promote prosocial behavior (Weinstein et al., 2009;Zhang et al., 2014;Joye and Bolderdijk, 2015;Castelo et al., 2021;Pirchio et al., 2021), especially prosocial behavior directed toward the environment (Lawrence, 2012;Klein and Hilbig, 2018;Rosa et al., 2018). Contrary to our expectations, individuals' experiences outdoors did not relate to how they chose to allocate their study compensation. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic brought sudden and dramatic changes to our daily lives. From shifting to remote work, to following shelter-in-place orders, to increased concerns about the health and wellbeing of one's self and family, individuals were required to make changes to their daily habits and to find new methods of coping with stress and maintaining wellbeing. In the present study, we surveyed participants in the United States (N = 192) with open-ended questions and individual difference measures to capture how changes to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic affected individuals' engagement with the outdoors. Specifically, using descriptive and inferential statistics, we (1) describe how people experienced the outdoors during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) evaluate how individuals' experiences outdoors relate to individual differences; and (3) report whether environmental experiences and COVID-19 concern relate to whether individuals chose to donate their participation payment to The Trust for Public Land, to the Center for Disease Control's COVID-19 fund, or to keep the payment for themselves in the form of a gift card. This work enhances our understanding of how the pandemic affected the relationship between people and the outdoors and contributes to knowledge about how nature can be used to help individuals and communities during times of crisis.
... Instead, a prosocial view of all things around us may make us think of animals as communities that we may be privileged to share and, if we do respect animals and the natural environments on those grounds, we may be granted some insights into how their lives have adapted to niches in the world that may have taken millions of years to perfect. It is a process, Zhang and colleagues called "unselfing" [18]. They suggested that people in the natural environment might become more open to socially friendly contacts (being prosocial). ...
... "Unselfing" is quite an innovative way to describe a possible alternative meaning, but I like to use it not quite in the way Zhang et al. used it. The authors [18] understood it as an improvement in prosociality among humans as a consequence of being in nature. "Unselfing" could also describe a process of treating other living things, not humans, prosocially and thus improving our understanding of the species that we study. ...
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This paper presents three case studies of exceptional human encounters with animals. These particular examples were selected because they enabled analysis of the underlying reasons that led the human participants to respond in new ways to their animal counterparts. The question asked here is whether sudden insights into the needs and abilities of an animal arises purely from an anthropocentric position as empathy because of genetic closeness (e.g., chimpanzees) or is something else and whether new insights can be applied to other phylogenetic orders not close to us, e.g., birds, and change research questions and implicit prejudices and stereotypes. Particularly in avian species, phylogenetically distant from humans, the prejudices (anthroprocentric position) and the belief in human uniqueness (human exceptionalism) might be greater than in the reactions to primates. Interestingly, in studies of great apes, contradictory opinions and controversies about cognitive abilities, especially when compared with humans, tend to be pronounced. Species appropriateness in test designs are desirable present and future goals but here it is suggested how different experiences can also lead to different questions that explode the myth of human uniqueness and then arrive at entirely different and new results in cognitive and affective abilities of the species under investigation.
... On a broader scale, some scholars even argue that stronger human-nature connection has the potential to help leverage deep societal change for sustainability (Abson et al., 2017;Ives et al., 2018;Meadows, 1999;Zhang et al., 2014), and a recent meta-analysis study also supports this argument (Barragan-Jason et al., 2022). In addition, the global biodiversity loss and environmental crisis are believed to be results of an increasing disconnect between human and nature (Miller, 2005;Zylstra, 2014). ...
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The connection between humans and nature seems to be one of increasing alienation. The use of digital technology, especially its problematic use, may affect this ongoing alienation. This study seeks to investigate how and when problematic technology use is associated with the human-nature connection, especially the emotional connection. Specifically, the study examined the mediating role played by presence and the moderating role played by openness with respect to the association between problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) and aesthetic emotion with nature (AEWN). A sample of 891 participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires measuring PMPU, AEWN, presence, and openness. The results showed that PMPU was negatively associated with AEWN, and that this association was partially mediated by presence. In addition, openness moderated both the direct relationship between PMPU and AEWN and the indirect relationship between those factors via presence. These two effects were weaker for individuals with higher levels of openness. The current study provides new evidence concerning the negative influence of escalating digital technology use on the emotional connection to nature and contributes to the literature by uncovering the mechanisms underlying this influence.
... If the natural environment is considered a place of leisure, it can lead to restful or relaxing experiences and self-reflection (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989;Kaplan, 1995). For adults, it was found that green spaces that are perceived as beautiful have a positive influence on prosocial behavior (Zhang et al., 2014). Girls and boys seem to benefit differently from green spaces. ...
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School gardens are part of many schools. Especially in primary schools, but also in secondary schools, they are used as a learning space and experience space for the pupils. Their importance for the development of cognitive and emotional-affective abilities of pupils is empirically well proven. It is also empirically well proven that exposure to nature has an influence on the prosocial behavior of children and adults. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the effect of the stay in the school garden on the social behavior of pupils in secondary class. To investigate whether a school garden is a good environment for social learning, a self-report study and standardized observations with sixth-grade pupils were carried out. Thus, the socially competent behavior of the pupils (communication and cooperation) and their emotions could be analyzed. In order to provide emotional access to the scientific content of biology lessons and to strengthen social learning, each pupil was responsible for their own plant and the group bed over a period of 10 weeks. The design of the lessons followed the principles of basic needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness—of the Self Determination Theory. The observations were made during a 90-min class, in the school garden as well in the classroom. The 31 girls and 22 boys, aged 11–12 years, changed weekly between the garden and the classroom. Over 150 observations were made in the school garden (82) and in the classroom (68). In summary, pupils showed more socially competent behavior in school garden lessons than in classroom lessons. The school garden lessons, designed according to the basic needs, seem to create favorable incentives for social learning. Due to frequent social interactions, it can be assumed that learning activities in school gardens can promote emotional and social competence.
... Prior research has found that exposure to perceptually vast stimuliincluding nature videoscan increase the likelihood of prosocial behavior (Piff et al., 2015). Seeing pictures of natureand even indoor plantscan also increase generosity towards other people (Weinstein et al., 2009), and these effects are stronger when the pictures or plants are more beautiful (Zhang et al., 2014). To our knowledge, our research is the first to experimentally test whether spending time in nature, rather than merely viewing pictures, videos, or indoor plants, can impact peoples' willingness to engage in prosocial behavior. ...
Article
Spending time in nature has many psychological benefits for people, including stress reduction and improved mood. Using behavioral measures and field study settings, we demonstrate that exposure to nature also leads to prosocial behaviors, such as increasing charitable donations. We show these prosocial effects are explained by an increased sense of self-transcendence, whereby a person feels connected to something greater than oneself or the social groups one belongs to. When self-transcendence is not experienced, such as when people feel separate or distinct from others, these effects are no longer observed. The theoretical and practical implications of the research are discussed.
... For example, a review found that nature helps children's abilities to form positive relationships, social competencies, emotional management and self-expression (Mygind et al., 2021). Intersubjectivity deepens our sense of ourselves by widening our sense of others and otherness (Cleary et al., 2017;Naor and Mayseless, 2017), which leads to 'unselfing' -where ego dissipates into the landscape and receptivity to affordances increase as we become more mindful and observant (Zhang et al., 2014). As Macfarlane (2012) described in his re-tracing of the old paths of England, "I felt a sensation of candour and amplitude, of the body and mind opened up, of thought diffusing at the body's edges rather than ending at the skin". ...
Article
Biodiversity risks losing relevance in an increasingly urbanised, unequal and disembodied world. Beyond basic material needs, we might gain the greatest well-being from eudaimonia – the freedom to flourish and live meaningfully. Immersion in nature improves the fundamentals of eudaimonia: psychological, emotional and social health. This presents an opportunity to re-frame biodiversity from a passive entity needing to be saved by ‘good people’ to a catalyst in the quest to become good. Drawing on the capability approach, I propose that wild landscapes – defined as self-willed, ecologically complex communities comprising functioning ecosystems – are mediums that facilitate our search for meaning. Features of wild landscapes (organisms, habitats, structures) stimulate unique perception and experience that afford the elements of self-meaning (ideas, narratives, memories). Ecological processes (succession, disturbance, dispersal) generate dynamic perceptual experiences, which improves our ability to comprehend meaning by restoring cognitive functions and relational values. Functioning ecosystems continually create and permute features in space and time, instantiating ever-varying patterns from which to adapt meaning as our contexts and aspirations change. Wild landscapes thus provide infinite value for our freedom to become. As widening income inequity amplifies asymmetric power structures, increasing the agency of those who seek to improve society is one pathway to a sustainable future.
... Interacting with natural environments [63] or simply looking at them can reduce stress, with benefits for individual well-being. There is strong scientific evidence that outdoor experiences (OE), contact and visualization of natural beauty, provide personal physiological [61,62,64], physical and mental [65], spiritual [66], and social (empathy, generosity, trust, and collaboration) benefits [67], especially for children and adolescents [68]. During confinement, contact with OE and nature has been reduced to the detriment of the well-being of the population, and our health is directly related to our closeness with nature. ...
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COVID-19 forced billions of people to restructure their daily lives and social habits. Several research projects have focused on social impacts, approaching the phenomenon on the basis of different issues and scales. This work studies the changes in social relations within the well-defined urban-territorial elements of co-housing communities. The peculiarity of this research lies in the essence of these communities, which base their existence on the spirit of sharing spaces and activities. As social distancing represented the only effective way to control the outbreak, the research studied how the rules of social distancing impacted these communities. For this reason, a questionnaire was sent to 60 communities asking them to highlight the changes that the emergency imposed on the members in their daily life and in the organization of common activities and spaces. A total of 147 responses were received and some relevant design considerations emerged: (1) the importance of feeling part of a “safe” community, with members who were known and deemed reliable, when facing a health emergency; and (2) the importance of open spaces to carry out shared activities. Overall, living in co-housing communities was evaluated as an “extremely positive circumstance” despite the fact that the emergency worsened socialization.
... Additionally, Ryan and Deci (2017: 265) state that 'meaningful exposure to living nature has a positive effect on subjective vitality relative to exposure to non-natural environments without living elements, and this relation is mediated in part by basic psychological needs'. Several studies have shown that engagement with the natural world may not only increase nature connectedness, but also relatedness to others, including prosocial behaviours such as empathy and generosity (Cervinka et al., 2012;Zhang et al., 2014). ...
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The long-standing challenges and issues associated with girls’ disengagement from secondary school physical and health education (PHE) are serious and well documented. This disengagement has provided the incentive for the examination of alternative strategies to facilitate girls’ engagement in PHE. This paper discusses the first phase in a formative research process designed to develop a resource manual to help teachers utilize nature-based physical activity (NBPA) as a means of fostering relatedness for girls in PHE. Participating teachers collaborated and generated specific NBPA ideas and pedagogical strategies during an all-day planning session. Four focus groups with the teachers ( N = 20) were used to identify ways to develop NBPA interventions. Five broad topics are reported: (a) defining NBPAs, (b) specific NBPAs to use in PHE, (b) how NBPA can foster relatedness, (d) how NBPA in PHE differs from outdoor education, and (e) barriers to implementing NBPA in PHE. This paper emphasizes the valuable contribution of formative research to the integrity and fidelity of an intervention as well as to quality practice in the implementation of theory-based PHE initiatives.
... Because awe is a prosocial emotion, that is, when people feel awe they are more likely to then perform kind and helpful behaviors (Perlin & Li, 2020;Piff et al., 2015;Zhang et al., 2014;Wu & He, 2021), and PEB is a subset of prosocial behavior, it makes sense that awe has been shown to have an influence on increasing PEB (Ibanez et al., 2017;Wang et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2018;Zhao, et al., 2018). And indeed, this prosocial feeling of awe (when combined with elevation) was the mediator between the elevating moral beauty video and an increase I-PEB and actual PEB in our study. ...
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The purpose of this study was to examine the differential effectiveness of video induced emotions on motivation for proenvironmental behavior (PEB). Participants (N = 205) were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions: viewing short videos of (1) natural beauty, (2) environmental degradation (ugly nature), or (3) moral beauty; and two control conditions: videos of (4) mundane nature (rocks in a desert) and (5) non-nature (flute making). Surprisingly, none of the videos, and resulting emotional states, had direct effects on PEB, but they did have indirect effects through the self-transcendent emotions of awe and elevation, and through visual beauty. The natural beauty video, compared to the non-nature video, promoted intentions for PEB (I-PEB) and donation behavior, through the specific indirect effect of elevation (but not awe); likewise, the natural beauty video, compared to the mundane nature video, also promoted both I-PEB and donation behavior through the indirect effect of elevation (and again, not through awe). The moral beauty video, compared to the non-nature video, promoted I-PEB and donation behavior, through the combined influence of awe and elevation, but not from either awe or elevation alone; the same pattern emerged when comparing the effects of the moral beauty video to the mundane nature video. The level of visual beauty of the videos positively predicted both I-PEB and donation behavior. Unexpectedly, the natural beauty and moral beauty videos were rated equally high on the moral emotion of elevation. However, this can be explained by past research indicating that beautiful landscapes have moral standing.
... A study by Weinstein, Przybylski, and Ryan (2009) found that when people viewed images of nature as opposed to urban scenes, they were inclined to be more social, more caring towards others, more community--oriented, and more generous (see also Coley, Sullivan, & Kuo, 1997;Mapes & Hine, 2009;Zhang, Piff, Iyer, Koleva, & Keltner, 2014). ...
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As healthcare organizations and designers accept, and even embrace, healing gardens and other natural spaces as modalities for promoting the health and well-being of patients, visitors, and staff, the spaces provided must be designed and programmed to best optimize user health outcomes. Valid, reliable research instruments can aid in the evaluation of existing spaces. They can also be used as guides and tools for future design and research. The Healthcare Garden Evaluation Toolkit (H-GET) is a set of four standardized instruments developed for use, individually or in combination, by researchers, designers, and healthcare providers to evaluate, design, and research gardens in general acute care hospitals. Evaluation is an important component of research on the designed environment, and is a critical part of evidence-based design. The more valid and reliable the instrument, the greater the likelihood that results will be credible and generalizable. To date, despite a clear need, there are no rigorously tested, validated instruments available for the evaluation of outdoor spaces in general acute care hospitals. The H-GET fills this need. This mixed methods study involved development and testing of the four H-GET instruments: (a) the Garden Assessment Tool for Evaluators; (b) Staff and Patient/Visitor Surveys; (c) Behavior Mapping protocol ; and (d) Stakeholder Interviews. All four instruments were tested at eight Pilot Test sites across the United States. Emphasis with data collection and analysis was on establishing instrument reliability and validity. Data from each instrument were analyzed, and data from the four instruments were triangulated to examine support for validity and to explore specific hypotheses about physical and programmatic factors that promote garden use and user satisfaction. Through H-GET pilot testing, a Healthcare Garden Evaluation Method (HGEM) emerged—a methodological process that the individual instruments facilitate in a rigorous, standardized, research-based format for future studies’ design, protocol, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of findings.
... What is more, they reinforce cultural identities, supporting a sense of belonging and place (Keniger et al., 2013;Hartig et al., 2014). People's contact with nature in cities increases prosocial and community building behaviour (Zhang et al., 2014). Studies demonstrate that the direct use of urban green spaces supports nature-friendly policies (Bragg et al., 2013). ...
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In the face of growing urbanised areas, the presence of forests and their appropriate shaping is a key challenge for contemporary urban planning. The importance of forests is largely identified with natural, economic and social functions in non-urban areas; however, forests are of vital value in urbanised areas. This article explores young Polish urbanites' awareness of the role forests play, and submits diagnoses of the forests multidimensional benefits and their functions in Poland's urban areas. Moreover, the research is based on the premise that the management of urban forests must ultimately lead to the satisfying of social needs. Based on empirical research, the perceptions of the value of urban forests as assessed by young people (students) in the Śląskie Voivodeship are presented , leading to the authors' postulation that urban forests are underestimated resources. Furthermore , the study suggests that young Poles do not recognise the multi-beneficial aspects of urban forests; and the authors indicate feasible directions for local policy to achieve sustainable development. The final statements argue that in the face of serious threats to the functioning of Earth's ecosystem , a campaign for the presence of forests and green spaces in cities is necessary.
... Thirdly, the memory stories show an aversion to harming other creatures, revealing the children's empathy and a will to create ethical relations with the more-than-human companions. Empathy is associated with an ability to experience a sense of awe and wonder, making the children feel part of something greater than themselves (Zhang et al., 2014). This kind of intense sense of belonging-and we add, recognizing and remembering this belongingness-also enhances the meaningfulness of life (Lambert et al., 2013). ...
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Western modernity has shaped people's thought patterns and value hierarchies, relegating humans to the position of supremacy. This anthropocentric worldview has disconnected humans from the rest of nature and eventually led to the social and ecological catastrophe. This paper shows that collective memory work can help us recognize how we are always socialized within and by human communities and also already ecosocialized within and by the rest of nature. The motivation to use the ecosocialization framework to analyze childhood memories comes from our wish to problematize the anthropo-centric view of life further and resituate childhood and growing up beyond exclusively social and human contexts. We draw on the memories collected in the ReConnect / ReCollect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods project (2019-2021). We "think with theory" to reveal traces of ecosocializa-tion present in childhood memories. On this basis, we suggest that including multisensory awareness practices in memory workshops to recognize our bodily belonging-as participants create their memory stories bringing into focus relations with more-than-humans-could potentialize collective biography as a form of transformative ecoso-cial education.
... Forest bathing is another example, with evidence showing that the (mindful) exposure to nature and green environments has a range of health benefits for human systems (Hansen et al. 2017). Noticing nature (Passmore & Holder, 2017) offers precious occasions for becoming a little less selfish (Zhang et al. 2014) and a lot more cooperative (Zelenski et al. 2015). By rekindling our evolutionary capacity for collective action, human-nature interfaces prepare us to tackle the grand challenges of our times (Howard-Grenville et al., 2019). ...
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This special issue presents six articles and two invited editorials that explore the antecedents, mechanisms, and consequences of regenerative organizing. Together, they draw on a range of disciplines from both organizational and environmental sciences to discover, theorize, and illustrate life-giving intersections between humans and natural ecosystems in the Anthropocene. This introduction provides an overview of the reasons for, and especially the possibilities of, regenerative organizing as we stress the limits of planetary boundaries in a post-climate change world.
... But, if this happened in Minnesota, it is also possible that some tweet. This is not only because these are the environments that they may most want to celebrate but also because being there can increase their levels of sociability and positive disposition towards others (Zhang et al., 2014). So, rather than smartphones standing in the way of nature benefits, perhaps people turn to their phones when the benefits have been accrued and their newly acquired well-being encourages them reach out to friends and family. ...
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Whether new technologies will have a positive impact on how societies experience nature depends on how particular devices and populations come to interact. This paper reviews two bodies of work that have sought to understand and influence these interactions with reference to the smartphone. The first is associated with a group of researchers interested in how smartphone apps might help people to engage with their surroundings in beneficial ways. The second comes from a set of scholars hoping to learn from the analysis of the social media datasets associated with smartphone interactions outdoors. After comparing these how these two bodies commonly see the social world, the paper considers how other approaches might augment these endeavours. We argue for more studies that explore what different social groups have to say about life with the smartphone and how norms of technology use emerge. We also suggest that this area of research might engage more fully with wider academic work on how smartphones are reshaping our societies. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
... First, connectedness to nature may elicit concerns for the wellness of others and of society, IMR leading to socially responsible consumption behavior. Feelings of being a part of nature elicit positive relational emotions such as caring and loving (Vining et al., 2008) and positively predict prosocial behavior (Zhang et al., 2014). This is also associated with a greater tendency to take the perspective of another person (Mayer and Frantz, 2004), stimulating the desire to develop close relationships with other people and engagement in prosocial behavior that supports community wellness (Weinstein et al., 2009). ...
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Purpose Ethical consumption is an integral component for the sustainable development in the world and is especially challenging in the Western consumer society. This research demonstrates that mindfulness, a Buddhism-based notion, is associated with two related and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption: refinement and reduction. It examines the psychological mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness on these two approaches of ethical consumption. Design/methodology/approach Self-report data were collected through an online survey with consumers from western societies ( N = 523). Findings The findings show (1) that the significance of mindfulness on both approaches of ethical consumption and (2) that the contrast between the different mechanisms underlying them. Specifically, the mindfulness–consumption refinement link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature whereas the mindfulness–consumption reduction link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature and self-control. A series of supplementary studies further confirmed the proposed model. Research limitations/implications It demonstrates the multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption, which is positively associated with mindfulness but through distinctive psychological mechanisms. Practical implications The multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption and its underlying drivers need special attention. Mindfulness can be an effective means to boost ethical consumption behavior. Meanwhile, nurturing the sense of connectedness to nature and self-control capability facilitates the path-through of the positive impacts of mindfulness Social implications The findings can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in promoting ethical consumption towards achieving the Sustainable Consumption goal, especially in the West. Originality/value The paper makes original contribution by conceptualizing two interrelated and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption and shows how mindfulness promotes both through different mediating pathways. Overall, this study paints a clearer picture how mindfulness relates to ethical consumption.
... High esthetic food was healthier [24], but we did not find that individuals in negative moods had a higher intention to eat foods of low esthetic value (lower health), which differs from previous findings. This may be because things with a high esthetic value can produce positive emotions [46]. In a negative mood, high esthetic food has a positive alleviating effect on individuals in a negative mood. ...
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Background Emotional eaters eat to relieve their emotions. However, food also contains esthetic information. People generally perceive ugly food as unhealthy and unpalatable. Does the esthetic information of food influence an emotional eater’s desire for food in a negative emotional state? In particular, do they have the same lower eating intentions for low esthetic food as non-emotional eaters? Objective/Design/Measures Based on these questions, the present study examined whether the esthetic value of food influences emotional eaters’ desires for food. The experiment used a 2 (eating type: emotional eating vs. non-emotional eating) × 2 (food style: high esthetic vs. low esthetic) mixed experimental design. We measured the emotional and non-emotional eaters’ eating intentions for different esthetic foods when experiencing negative emotions. Results The results showed that emotional eaters have higher intention to eat high esthetic foods. However, they did not have a high eating intention for all foods, and their eating intention did not differ from that of non-emotional eaters when faced with low esthetic food. Conclusion In conclusion, food esthetic value can affect individual eating intentions. Even for emotional eaters who are in a negative mood, they also did not have a higher eating intention for low esthetic food compared with no-emotional eater. Level of evidence Level II: controlled trial without randomization.
... Light pollution is one of the main factors potentially affecting the bird species living in urban areas (Dominoni, 2017). Furthermore, the urban biodiversity can constitute per se an ecosystem service essential for the residents' well-being (Keniger et al., 2013;Ratcliffe et al., 2013;Zhang et al., 2014). In this sense, urban avian communities ecologically more resilient can guarantee a significant continuity of ecosystem functions because they are better arranged when facing ecological stresses (Folke et al., 2002;Pillar et al., 2013). ...
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Urban and suburban areas are among the fastest-growing land-use types globally, reducing and fragmenting natural habitats for many animal species and making human-wildlife interactions more common. However, cities also create habitat for several species considered urban tolerant or urban exploiter species. Additionally, the environmental characteristics of urban areas can strongly affect the life quality of citizens. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of common bird species as indicators of urban areas with high environmental quality within cities. Our study recorded 128 bird species in 1441 point counts distributed in fifteen different European cities. We classified urban areas as “high environmental quality” – HEQ when they were simultaneously characterised by a high green cover and heterogeneity, low level of light pollution, and avian communities with high potential resilience to face ecological stress. Species indicators of HEQ urban areas were identified using the species-level indicator value (IndVal) analysis. Such species can be used as ecological indicators of HEQ in different European cities. The list of top ten birds indicators of HEQ in European cities is led by the Eurasian blackcap, selected as an indicator in more than half of the survey cities. Other birds indicators of HEQ in multiple cities are Blackbird (47%), Great tit (40%), Blue tit, Tree sparrow and Magpie (all 33%). The mean specificity of the top-ranked bird indicator of HEQ urban areas (Eurasian blackcap) was 0.778. Most of the HEQ-indicators are resident or resident/short migratory species characterised by territorial behaviour. Our findings support using multiple species as bioindicators of urban changes by using specific groups with few common species as surrogates of HEQ urban areas. The approach proposed in this study can be applied in different European cities to monitor biodiversity status periodically, even involving citizen science initiatives.
... Integrating green landscaping into these public places can enhance the connection to nature which in turn forges social cohesion. Exposure to nature has also been proven to increase people's social interactions, empathy, trust, and cooperation (Zhang et al., 2014). Social connections and interactions may be fostered by natural settings that form the basis for community development (Elmendorf, 2008). ...
... In addition, participants' perspectives on weather conditions in the winter was not portrayed as negative, as snow and ice were still perceived as beautiful and part of their daily lived experiences. Relatedly, cooperation with the environment has been expressed through a deep fascination with nature (73). For most participants, their fascination was identified as greater than just the superficial elements nature can portray (39), reflecting a strong sense of nature relatedness. ...
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Positive outcomes for psychological and physiological health have resulted from a nature experience. However, evidence is limited for nature-based interventions and their effect on a cancer population. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine if incorporating the One Nature Challenge (ONC) into a ten-week group exercise program (WE-Can) for individuals living with cancer could offer additional psychological and/or physiological benefits to those previously observed in WE-Can. For this study, two separate ONCs were implemented throughout two seasons (summer and winter) to formulate a ONC group (n = 18; 60 ± 12yrs). Previous WE-Can graduates were used as a control group (n = 160; 59 ± 11yrs) for this study. Psychological and physiological assessments were administered in a pre- and post-test. In addition, nature relatedness (NR; ones' relationship with nature) was measured at the beginning, middle, and end of WE-Can. Following five weeks, the ONC began and participants tracked the days they experienced nature for at least thirty-minutes (24 ± 6 days), for a thirty-day period. The ONC finished concurrently with WE-Can where post-evaluations and focus groups were administered immediately following. No additional gain in overall health was found between groups. However, aerobic fitness and fatigue significantly improved for the ONC group. This was supported by frequent activities and self-reported restoration of the mind while experiencing nature. In conclusion, the lack of overall improvement could be limited by sample size and the high level of NR prior to ONC, indicating participants were already 'one with nature.'
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Here we investigate whether perceived biodiversity is linked to emotional wellbeing, taking into account the individual level of connection to nature, and whether such relationship is mediated by perceived restorativeness. We exposed participants to urban trails of different biodiversity levels and analysed the data using linear mixed-effects and structural equation models. Our results show that animal diversity and nature relatedness are positively linked to perceived restorativeness that, in turn, increases positive affect and decreases negative affect; thus suggesting that restoration mediates the effect of biodiversity on emotional wellbeing. We also found walk duration is linked to increased positive affect and reduced negative affect while crowdedness level in the trail has the opposite effect. Our results show an important link between urban biodiversity conservation and public mental health.
Article
Research shows that awe has various positive benefits for people. Research also suggests that viewing art can elicit awe. Therefore, art museums seem well positioned to foster awe, yet there is almost no evidence that art museum visitors experience awe during their visit. This study assessed whether and how people experience awe during an art museum visit, to establish an empirical foundation. A total of 132 adults were interviewed at two different art museums in London, UK. Study results point to three key findings: (1) art museum visitors say that they feel awe, and it may be correlated with several other positive emotions; (2) art museum visitors say that they experience some dimensions of awe more strongly than others; and (3) art museum visitors mostly felt that it was aspects of the art work that elicited their feelings of awe in the art museum. Results have implications for art museum practitioners developing interpretive strategies for connecting people with works of art, and for researchers investigating the nature of museum experiences.
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Engaging consumers in prosocial practices can increase their favorable responses toward a company. We suggest that cuteness cues of a third party (i.e., neither beneficiary nor benefactor) spur consumer engagement in such practices. It is well-known that a cute X stands a higher chance of being helped than a non-cute Y. This research examines a novel effect of cuteness which we call the “aww effect”: How does an exposure to a cute X influence consumers’ prosociality benefitting a non-cute Y? The results from four studies show that viewing cute images and listening to cute sounds prompt prosocial responses enhancing the welfare of a non-cute target. Moreover, cuteness cues increase the effectiveness of an appeal emphasizing benefits to non-cute targets (vs. benefits to the self). Taken together, our findings lend converging support to the aww effect and inform marketers of an effective use of cuteness cues to engage consumers in prosocial initiatives.
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In densely populated cities with high-rise buildings, large green spaces are a limited resource, and it is hard to visit large green spaces frequently due to long distance from places of residence. Small Urban Green Space (SUGS) in dense city areas might contribute to satisfy the need for everyday experiences of outdoor areas, but the study on SUGS use is limited, in particular in Asian contexts.The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of socio-demographic factors, personal factors, spatial attributes of residence, and satisfaction with park features on the use of SUGS and sources of motivation for visiting SUGS. Data were collected through face-to-face survey, and were analyzed using a hierarchical regression model. Results showed that relaxation and rest (36 %), physical exercise (23 %), and meeting friends (21 %) were the three most widespread reasons for SUGS use. The results indicated that socio-demographic factors, personal factors, spatial attributes of residence and park features factors explained 23 %, 2%, 25.6 % and 3% of the total variance in frequency of park visitation, respectively. Age, being willing to spend time in nature, with child under 7 years, noise and facility were positively correlated with SUGS use. Income,distance from home to the park, and residential green spaces were negatively correlated with SUGS use.Our findings are expected to assist urban planners in creating guidelines to better utilize SUGS.
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We currently live in a consumer society with extremely damaging consequences for the environment. It urges to develop modes and models of production, and consumption behaviours with less environmental impact, which simultaneously ensure the satisfaction of citizens’ basic needs and their health, quality of life, and well-being. To achieve that, it is essential to find out a balance between positive and negative impacts of the overall energy strategy and clean technologies for societies, but also for persons individually considered, since their attitudes and behaviours are vital for that strategy success. This balance must be based on populations’ quality of life, well-being evolution and social progress monitoring, not limiting measures to objective socio-economic conditions, physical environments, goods and services. This chapter seeks to present a narrative review which intends to reflect on the extent to which factors that promote individual health and well-being (in particular connecting with nature) can be made congruent with those that facilitate well-being at collective or global levels. It is argued in the defence of a Positive Ecological Psychology that contributes to the definition and implementation of environmental policies and behaviour change that simultaneously protect and preserve the environment, and allow individuals to live a “full life” and to flourish.
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The farm holiday has the potential to rebound faster following the COVID-19 pandemic than many other forms of tourism. This potential is due to two elements that are abundant in the location of holiday farms: fresh air and sunlight. This conceptual paper synthesizes various streams of research that illustrate how fresh air and sunlight can improve both actual and perceived salutogenesis. This paper then offers a series of recommendations that farm stay venues can adopt in order to, explicitly and implicitly, infuse fresh air and sunshine elements in their marketing messages. Furthermore, there is potential in designing marketing messages for farm holidays that demand further research activities, continuous information and awareness raising.
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Romantic relationships are a special type of relationship that affect happiness and wellbeing, but little is known about how romantic couples use the built environment to perpetuate their bond. We conducted a survey of 124 geolocated individuals in romantic relationships in State College, Pennsylvania, and used a mixed-method geographic information systems (GIS)/qualitative research framework to show how couples use the built environment. We illustrate their favorite places, the characteristics of these places, and how the town’s amenities and design helps their bond. Our results show that pedestrian and transportation infrastructure and a variety of proximal, affordable activities, (primarily restaurants and nature/outdoor spaces) are important for couples. We also find that on-campus attractions, not just those of the town, play an important role for romantic outings. We use these findings to encourage and recommend infrastructure for supporting romantic relationships in the future.
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This paper offers a constructive account of Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy of Nature and the environment, in the context of the modern stream of Vedāntic thought that also includes Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekānanda and Sri Aurobindo. Sri Chinmoy affirms the ontological continuity of the Absolute and the manifested world, or “God the Creator” and “God the creation.” Nature is the universal and manifested aspect of God and the beauty of Nature is a revelation of the Divine. The paper explores Sri Chinmoy’s vision in relation to the views of Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja, focusing on an understanding of non-duality that does not devalue the world, and notes that Rāmānuja’s concept of the world as God’s “Body” is an image Sri Chinmoy also uses. The world is not an “illusion” but must be accepted and loved. Human destruction of the environment stems from ignorance of our oneness with the totality of existence and the resulting greed and desire for power. An ethics that embraces the intrinsic value of Nature and all beings requires that they must be loved and cared for, and celebrates the created world as the divine Līlā.
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Trait emotional intelligence reflects a set of self-perceptions and behavioral tendencies to empathize with others and manage one's own emotions. Trait emotional intelligence is a valuable characteristic since it can aid social interaction, bolster subjective wellbeing, and predict career success. Past research suggests that brief exposures to greenspace can enhance outcomes related to facets of trait emotional intelligence. The current study employed a retrospective life course analysis to examine whether residential greenness and other aspects of the residential environment predict trait emotional intelligence in early adulthood. Childhood exposure for 297 college students was based on up to three home addresses from birth to age 18, weighted by residency duration. Greenspace was calculated with normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values in 500 m and 1000 m buffers. Partially supporting our predictions, we found emotional intelligence in young adults growing up in lower-income areas was positively associated with cumulative neighborhood greenness around childhood homes. The opposite pattern was found for those who grew up in higher-income areas, with greater greenness500-m being associated with lower emotional intelligence scores. These are the first reported findings involving physical/natural environmental correlates of emotional intelligence and among the first to suggest an equigenic effect of greenspace on socio-emotional outcomes whereby exposure might help overturn inequalities rather than merely reduce them. If a causal link exists between nature exposure and emotional intelligence, then neighborhood greening might help children who begin life at a societal disadvantage through enhancing their ability to understand, use, and manage emotions.
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Objective This study examined the influences of healthcare facility interior features on users’ wayfinding performance and the relationship between stress and wayfinding. Background General hospitals in China always present significant wayfinding problems due to their sizes and complexity. Poor wayfinding often leads to a frustrating and stressful user experience. It has not been fully understood how hospital indoor features affect wayfinding and whether an individual’s stress levels are associated with wayfinding performance. Method We conducted an experiment in which 117 college students, aged 18–33 ( M = 21.88, SD = 3.01), performed two tasks in virtual reality environments of outpatient clinics. Stress (skin conductance response) and wayfinding performance (distance ratio and time ratio) were measured. Participants’ sense of orientation, navigation ability, distance estimation, and spatial anxiety were captured by a survey. Results Male participants reported a significantly better sense of orientation and less spatial anxiety than females. Participants’ stress levels were lower with outdoor window views compared to those without outdoor views. With more environmental features (landmarks and outdoor window views) added to the environments, participants showed significantly better wayfinding performance. No significant relationship was found between wayfinding performance and participants’ stress levels in this study. Conclusion While individual environmental factors might not have a significant influence, combining multiple elements such as window views and landmarks could lead to better wayfinding performance. More research is needed to examine the relationship between stress and wayfinding.
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Nature experiences have a positive effect on mental health, especially on psychological well-being because nature is perceived as a supportive, peaceful environment, and an emotional sanctuary. This paper aims to review and document a broad range of empirical evidence regarding the benefits of the experience of nature from cognitive, clinical, and social dimensions separately. The findings investigating the social aspects of interacting with nature point out the connective feature of natural entities through revealing hedonic and self-transcendent feelings and modifying the self-other perception (e.g., self diminishment) in favor of facilitating social value orientation and oneness among human beings. Having contact with nature also extends cognitive abilities by replenishing attention, memory, executive functioning, and learning capacities, and bolstering creative potential. The experience of nature has uplifting benefits on positive mood, empowers psychological well-being, recovery, and relaxation via mitigating stress and anxiety levels. Socially, contact with nature elicits social cohesiveness through facilitating social value orientation, perspective-taking, and helping behavior. Improving well-being via nature connectedness may be effective in decreasing psychological symptoms such as stress, negative mood states, and expectedly mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. The several ways of how nature contributes to individual and societal well-being are discussed in the light of the literature.
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The present chapter refers to a project addressing the challenges of domestic confinement through biophilic design and user experience. It is meant to be a platform for social innovation and learning within the context of domestic spaces while relying on ethnographic mixed method tools, used and gathered by a group of undergraduate and graduate researchers and shown here as a compilation of case studies from Mexico. The research objective analyzes how to rethink the domestic space as an opportunity to design new experiences. It compiles, compares, and explains the processes and results around the research as the characterization of domestic space in the search for well-being. In confinement, the user experience is observed regarding biophilia. Thus, it was fundamental to identify the influence of natural elements within the domestic environment. It is worth noting that the research was carried out under confinement conditions, placing the person and the domestic space experience at the center. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the user’s personal experience and their own relationship with nature as they move toward the construction of domestic and urban resilience scenarios.
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Over the past decade, a considerable body of research has focused on the physical, psychological, and cognitive benefits of nature exposure. In contrast, the current study unveils a potential downside of nature exposure: enhanced natural-is-better bias. We propose that interactions with nature increases connectedness to nature, which in turn leads to a stronger naturalness bias. In Study 1, we found that student participants recalling a past experience in nature were more likely to choose a natural (versus synthetic) drug than participants recalling a neutral experience. Employing a more diverse sample and a behavioral choice, Study 2 replicated the findings that reflecting on an experience in natural environments led to a stronger naturalness bias on drug choice than reflecting on a neutral experience. Study 3 investigated the effect of nature exposure on naturalness bias in a field setting. This study provided converging evidence that actual exposure to nature can influence drug preference in a behavioral context. A consistent result obtained from these three studies was that connectedness to nature played a mediating role in the relationship between nature exposure and naturalness bias. This research sheds new insight on the scalability of naturalness bias and its contributing factors.
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In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a COVID-19 pandemic accompanied by a series of mass lockdowns. Some of the consequences of these lockdowns were (1) psychological problems, (2) development of simultaneous activities in spaces not prepared for it, and (3) indoor spaces that generate negative emotions in people. To improve people's mental health during times of lockdown, this research proposes a methodology to design positive interior environments through color, texture, objects, furniture, and equipment. For this, 147 qualitative surveys were carried out, the structure of which is based on research methods and tools inherited from marketing discipline (Likert Scale and Customer Satisfaction Score). Several operative graphs were created to make decisions on the design of interior environments. To avoid some of the problems caused by indoor environments during lockdowns it is recommended that users return to paying attention to the design of the interior spaces of their homes. Note that there is no standard solution to this problem, but a method to design interior environments based on people's positive mental health such as the one presented here can help. The trends found in this work open a field of exploration towards the improvement of interior spaces through neutral colors, natural materials (cotton and wood) and objects with which emotional relationships are created, either with the objects (col-lections) or because they allow you to connect with other people (technology). It is considered necessary to continue with the research by expanding the sample to incorporate into the analysis the most vulnerable sectors of population during COVID-19 lockdowns.
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Subjective connection with nature, or nature relatedness, is similar to other environmental worldview measures in predicting sustainable attitudes and behaviors, yet is unique in predicting happiness. In two studies, the authors assessed the overlap between nature relatedness and other subjective connections (e.g., with friends or country) and examined these connections as a possible confound in explaining the link between nature relatedness and happiness. Study 1 adapted a measure of general connectedness and administered it to student (n = 331) and community (n = 415) samples along with multiple nature relatedness and happiness indicators. Study 2 examined more established measures of subjective connections in another community sample (n = 204). General connectedness predicted happiness well, yet nature relatedness remained a significant distinct predictor of many happiness indicators, even after controlling for other connections. Results support the notion that nature relatedness could be a path to human happiness and environmental sustainability, though confirming this causal direction requires additional research.
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This research answers the question whether there are multiple channels through which we connect with beauty and excellence, and thus contributes to the understanding of the structure of appreciation. Two models were examined: the appreciation of beauty and excellence (ABE) model [Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2004). Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]. In C. Peterson & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.). Character strengths and virtues (pp. 537-551). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], and the engagement with beauty model [Diessner, R., Solom, R., Frost, N. K., Parsons, L., & Davidson, J. (2008). Engagement with beauty: Appreciating natural, artistic, and moral beauty. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 142, 303-329]. Study 1 describes the development and initial validation of the ABE Test (ABET), which assesses the types of appreciation included in Haidt and Keltner's (2004) model. In study 2, the ABE subscale of the Values In Action Inventory of Strengths [VIA-IS; Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Assessment of character strengths. In G. P. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, & S. S. Hill III (Eds.), Psychologists' desk reference (Vol. 3, pp. 93-98). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], the Engagement with Beauty Scale (Diessner et al., 2008), and the ABET were included in a structural equation modeling analysis. Results suggested a new model encompassing the two previous ones, and distinguishing between natural beauty, artistic beauty, and non-aesthetic goodness.
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Pedagogical intervention regarding engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty can lead to an increase in trait hope. In a quasi‐experimental design with college students the intervention group showed significantly higher gain scores on trait hope than did the comparison group; the effect size was moderate. The experimental group also experienced significantly larger increases with engagement with moral beauty; the effect size was large. The discussion section focuses on integrating understanding beauty with moral education pedagogy, using a key element in philosophical definitions of beauty: unity‐in‐diversity. It is hypothesized that such pedagogy will increase engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty and thus raise trait hope.
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Attention Restoration Theory suggests that contact with nature supports attentional functioning, and a number of studies have found contact with everyday nature to be related to attention in adults. Is contact with everyday nature also related to the attentional functioning of children? This question was addressed through a study focusing on children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This study examined the relationship between children’s nature exposure through leisure activities and their attentional functioning using both within and between-subjects comparisons. Parents were surveyed regarding their child’s attentional functioning after activities in several settings. Results indicate that children function better than usual after activities in green settings and that the “greener” a child’s play area, the less severe his or her attention deficit symptoms. Thus, contact with nature may support attentional functioning in a population of children who desperately need attentional support.
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Although vegetation has been positively linked to fear of crime and crime in a number of settings, recent findings in urban residential areas have hinted at a possible negative relationship: Residents living in "greener" surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less aggressive and violent behavior. This study used police crime reports to examine the relationship between vegetation and crime in an inner-city neighborhood. Crime rates for 98 apartment buildings with varying levels of nearby vegetation were compared. Results indicate that although residents were randomly assigned to different levels of nearby vegetation, the greener a building's surroundings were, the fewer crimes reported. Furthermore, this pattern held for both property crimes and violent crimes. The relationship of vegetation to crime held after the number of apartments per building, building height, vacancy rate, and number of occupied units per building were accounted for.
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Although vegetation has been positively linked to fear of crime and crime in a number of settings, recent findings in urban residential areas have hinted at a possible negative relationship: Residents living in “greener” surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less aggressive and violent behavior. This study used police crime reports to examine the relationship between vegetation and crime in an inner-city neighborhood. Crime rates for 98 apartment buildings with varying levels of nearby vegetation were compared. Results indicate that although residents were randomly assigned to different levels of nearby vegetation, the greener a building’s surroundings were, the fewer crimes reported. Furthermore, this pattern held for both property crimes and violent crimes. The relationship of vegetation to crime held after the number of apartments per building, building height, vacancy rate, and number of occupied units per building were accounted for.
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Within this study we used self-report measures completed by 123 undergraduate students from an Australian university to investigate the validity of Peterson and Seligman’s [Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P (2004). Character strengths and virtues. New York: Oxford.] classification system of 24 character strengths and six virtues. We also looked at how the 24 character strengths relate to the Five Factor Model of personality and to a measure of social desirability. Using a second order factor analysis of the 24 character strengths, we found that these 24 character strengths did not produce a factor structure consistent with the six higher order virtues as proposed by Peterson and Seligman [Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P (2004). Character strengths and virtues. New York: Oxford.]. Instead, the 24 character strengths were well represented by both a one and four factor solution. Patterns of significant relationships between each of the 24 character strengths, the one and four factor solutions and the Five Factor Model of personality were found. The results have implications for [Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P (2004). Character strengths and virtues. New York: Oxford.] classification.
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Identifying mechanisms that buffer children from life's stress and adversity is an important empirical and practical concern. This study focuses on nature as a buffer of life stress among rural children. To examine whether vegetation near the residential environment might buffer or moderate the impact of stressful life events on children's psychological well-being, data were collected from 337 rural children in Grades 3 through 5 (mean age=9.2 years). Dependent variables include a standard parent-reported measure of children's psychological distress and children's own ratings of global self-worth. In a rural setting, levels of nearby nature moderate the impact of stressful life events on the psychological well-being of children. Specifically, the impact of life stress was lower among children with high levels of nearby nature than among those with little nearby nature. Implications of these finding are discussed with respect to our understanding of resilience and protective mechanisms.
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A recreation experience is not static, it varies over the course of an engagement. Yet, most recreation research operationalizes recreation benefits and outcomes as essentially static in nature (i.e., satisfaction). “Experience patterns” capture the dynamic nature of a recreation experience and thus might prove useful as units of analysis in the management and study of recreation resources. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine properties of experience patterns to determine whether they are worthy of future theoretical and empirical study. Toward this end, the experience patterns of 90 hikers were assessed during a short but strenuous dayhike. Seven qualities of hikers' experiences (four mood measures, two satisfaction measures, and landscape scenic beauty) were assessed at twelve moments during the hike. Results are encouraging and suggest that hikers differ from one another in their on-site experience but cluster into distinct, homogeneous groups. Some hikers' had experience patterns that varied predictably over the course of the hike and thus seem dependent upon site characteristics and subject to site management. Other hikers' experience patterns were constant and seemed independent of site characteristics.
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Adults and children are spending more time interacting with media and technology and less time participating in activities in nature. This life-style change clearly has ramifications for our physical well-being, but what impact does this change have on cognition? Higher order cognitive functions including selective attention, problem solving, inhibition, and multi-tasking are all heavily utilized in our modern technology-rich society. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that exposure to nature can restore prefrontal cortex-mediated executive processes such as these. Consistent with ART, research indicates that exposure to natural settings seems to replenish some, lower-level modules of the executive attentional system. However, the impact of nature on higher-level tasks such as creative problem solving has not been explored. Here we show that four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50% in a group of naive hikers. Our results demonstrate that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in a natural setting. We anticipate that this advantage comes from an increase in exposure to natural stimuli that are both emotionally positive and low-arousing and a corresponding decrease in exposure to attention demanding technology, which regularly requires that we attend to sudden events, switch amongst tasks, maintain task goals, and inhibit irrelevant actions or cognitions. A limitation of the current research is the inability to determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology, or to other factors associated with spending three days immersed in nature.
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This entry includes the following topics: beauty and art as social constructions; beauty and art as evolutionary adaptations; the adaptiveness of symmetry and beauty; is the appeal of the golden section universal; is optimal arousal the general principle of aesthetic appeal; artistic production in children; making before matching; the difficulty of experimental aesthetics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Certain highly emotional experiences have the potential to produce long-lasting and meaningful changes in personality. Two such experiences are spiritual transformations and experiences of profound beauty. However, little is known about the cognitive appraisals or narrative elements involved in such experiences, how they are similar, and how they differ. In a study of emotion-related narratives, these experiences were found to share many features but also differ in their valence. Experiences of profound beauty are almost always positive, but spiritual transformations are both positive and negative. Moreover, spiritual transformations seem to produce long-lasting change, but experiences of profound beauty, although evocative, do not seem to produce long-lasting change. An emotion approach helps to elucidate two understudied but important emotional experiences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Chaotic conditions are a prevalent and threatening feature of social life. Five studies examined whether social class underlies divergent responses to perceptions of chaos in one's social environments and outcomes. The authors hypothesized that when coping with perceptions of chaos, lower class individuals tend to prioritize community, relative to upper class individuals, who instead tend to prioritize material wealth. Consistent with these predictions, when personally confronting chaos, lower class individuals were more communally oriented (Study 1), more connected with their community (Study 2), and more likely to volunteer for a community-building project (Study 3), compared to upper class individuals. In contrast, perceptions of chaos caused upper class individuals to express greater reliance on wealth (Study 4) and prefer financial gain over membership in a close-knit community (Study 5), relative to lower class individuals. These findings suggest that social class shapes how people respond to perceptions of chaos and cope with its threatening consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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Humans will continue to adapt to an increasingly technological world. But are there costs to such adaptations in terms of human well being? Toward broaching this question, we investigated physiological effects of experiencing a HDTV quality real-time view of nature through a plasma display ''window.'' In an office setting, 90 participants (30 per group) were exposed either to (a) a glass window that afforded a view of a nature scene, (b) a plasma window that afforded a real-time HDTV view of essentially the same scene, or (c) a blank wall. Results showed that in terms of heart rate recovery from low-level stress the glass window was more restorative than a blank wall; in turn, a plasma window was no more restorative than a blank wall. Moreover, when participants spent more time looking at the glass window, their heart rate tended to decrease more rapidly; that was not the case with the plasma window. Discussion focuses on how the purported benefits of viewing nature may be attenuated by a digital medium.
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Elaine Scarry (1999) proposes a correspondence between engagement with beauty and a sense of justice. Parallel to Scarry, Arthur Danto (2003) posits that 20th century artists avoided producing beautiful works because of an offended sense of justice. In Study 1, the relationship between justice reasoning (DIT2; Rest et al., 1999a) and engagement with beauty (Diessner et al., 2008) is examined; there is a significant raw correlation (r = .23; p < .05; N = 132), which reduced to a nonsignificant r = .01 when Openness to Experience was partialed out. Study 2 examines the relationship between fairness as a character strength (cf. Peterson & Seligman, 2004) and engagement with beauty, finding a raw r = .35, p < .001 (N = 113). After partialing out Openness to Experience the r is .25, significant at p = .009. Although there is no significant association between justice reasoning and engagement with beauty, when justice/fairness is viewed as a character strength, Scarry's hypothesis is empirically validated. Thus, justice-minded artists need not avoid beauty, as beautiful art may increase viewers' sensitivity to justice.
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This study aimed to explore whether walking in nature may be beneficial for individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). Healthy adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after nature walks, but it was unclear whether those same benefits would be achieved in a depressed sample as walking alone in nature might induce rumination, thereby worsening memory and mood. Twenty individuals diagnosed with MDD participated in this study. At baseline, mood and short term memory span were assessed using the PANAS and the backwards digit span (BDS) task, respectively. Participants were then asked to think about an unresolved negative autobiographical event to prime rumination, prior to taking a 50-min walk in either a natural or urban setting. After the walk, mood and short-term memory span were reassessed. The following week, participants returned to the lab and repeated the entire procedure, but walked in the location not visited in the first session (i.e., a counterbalanced within-subjects design). Participants exhibited significant increases in memory span after the nature walk relative to the urban walk, p<.001, η(p)(2)=.53 (a large effect-size). Participants also showed increases in mood, but the mood effects did not correlate with the memory effects, suggesting separable mechanisms and replicating previous work. Sample size and participants' motivation. These findings extend earlier work demonstrating the cognitive and affective benefits of interacting with nature to individuals with MDD. Therefore, interacting with nature may be useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments for MDD.
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This field study investigated the potential stress-reducing effects of exposure to real or artificial nature on patients in a hospital waiting room. Additionally, it was investigated whether perceived attractiveness of the room could explain these effects. In this between-patients experimental design, patients were exposed to one of the following: real plants, posters of plants, or no nature (control). These conditions were alternately applied to two waiting rooms. The location of this study was two waiting rooms at the Radiology Department of a Dutch hospital. The subjects comprised 457 patients (60% female and 40% male) who were mostly scheduled for echocardiogram, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scans, or nuclear research. Patients exposed to real plants, as well as patients exposed to posters of plants, report lower levels of experienced stress compared to the control condition. Further analyses show that these small but significant effects of exposure to nature are partially mediated by the perceived attractiveness of the waiting room. Natural elements in hospital environments have the potential to reduce patients' feelings of stress. By increasing the attractiveness of the waiting room by adding either real plants or posters of plants, hospitals can create a pleasant atmosphere that positively influences patients' well-being.
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Five studies assessed the validity and reliability of the connectedness to nature scale (CNS), a new measure of individuals’ trait levels of feeling emotionally connected to the natural world. Data from two community and three college samples demonstrated that the CNS has good psychometric properties, correlates with related variables (the new environmental paradigm scale, identity as an environmentalist), and is uncorrelated with potential confounds (verbal ability, social desirability). This paper supports ecopsychologists’ contention that connection to nature is an important predictor of ecological behavior and subjective well-being. It also extends social psychological research on self–other overlap, perspective taking, and altruistic behavior to the overlap between self and nature. The CNS promises to be a useful empirical tool for research on the relationship between humans and the natural world.
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To facilitate a multidimensional approach to empathy the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) includes 4 subscales: Perspective-Taking (PT) Fantasy (FS) Empathic Concern (EC) and Personal Distress (PD). The aim of the present study was to establish the convergent and discriminant validity of these 4 subscales. Hypothesized relationships among the IRI subscales between the subscales and measures of other psychological constructs (social functioning self-esteem emotionality and sensitivity to others) and between the subscales and extant empathy measures were examined. Study subjects included 677 male and 667 female students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes at the University of Texas. The IRI scales not only exhibited the predicted relationships among themselves but also were related in the expected manner to other measures. Higher PT scores were consistently associated with better social functioning and higher self-esteem; in contrast Fantasy scores were unrelated to these 2 characteristics. High EC scores were positively associated with shyness and anxiety but negatively linked to egotism. The most substantial relationships in the study involved the PD scale. PD scores were strongly linked with low self-esteem and poor interpersonal functioning as well as a constellation of vulnerability uncertainty and fearfulness. These findings support a multidimensional approach to empathy by providing evidence that the 4 qualities tapped by the IRI are indeed separate constructs each related in specific ways to other psychological measures.
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Assessed sympathy and personal distress with facial and physiological indexes (heart rate) as well as self-report indexes and examined the relations of these various indexes to prosocial behavior for children and adults in an easy escape condition. Heart rate deceleration during exposure to the needy others was associated with increased willingness to help. In addition, adults' reports of sympathy, as well as facial sadness and concerned attention, were positively related to their intention to assist. For children, there was some indication that report of positive affect and facial distress were negatively related to prosocial intentions and behavior, whereas facial concern was positively related to the indexes of prosocial behavior. These findings are interpreted as providing additional, convergent support for the notion that sympathy and personal distress are differentially related to prosocial behavior. Over the years, numerous philosophers (e.g., Blum, 1980) and psychologists (e.g., Barnett, 1987; Feshbach, 1978; Hoffman, 1984; Staub, 1978) have argued that empathy and sympathy, denned primarily in affective terms, are important motivators of altruistic behavior. In general, it has been asserted that people who experience emotional reactions consistent with the state of another and who feel other-oriented concern for the other are relatively likely to be motivated to alleviate the other's need or distress.
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Prevailing accounts of natural values as the subjective response of the human mind are reviewed and contested. Discoveries in the physical sciences tempt us to strip the reality away from many native-range qualities, including values, but discoveries in the biological sciences counterbalance this by finding sophisticated structures and selective processes in earthen nature. On the one hand, all human knowing and valuing contain subjective components, being theory-Iaden. On the other hand, in ordinary natural affairs, in scientific knowing, and in valuing, we achieve some objective knowing of the world, agreeably with and mediated by the subjective coefficient. An ecological model of valuing is proposed, which is set in an evolutionary context. Natural value in its relation to consciousness is, examined as an epiphenomenon, an echo, an emergent, an entrance, and an education, with emphasis on the latter categories. An account of intrinsic and instrumental natural value is related both to natural objects, life fonns and land forms, and to experiencing subjects, extending the ecological model. Ethical imperatives follow from this redescription of natural value and the valuing process.
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Using various medical and psychological measurements, this study performed a randomized clinical trial with surgical patients to evaluate if plants in hospital rooms have therapeutic influences. Ninety patients recovering from an appendectomy were randomly assigned to hospital rooms with or without plants. Patients in the plant treatment room viewed eight species of foliage and flowering plants during their postoperative recovery periods. Data collected for each patient included length of hospitalization, analgesics used for postoperative pain control, vital signs, ratings of pain intensity, pain distress, anxiety, and fatigue, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y-1, the Environmental Assessment Scale, and the Patient's Room Satisfaction Questionnaire. Patients in hospital rooms with plants and flowers had significantly fewer intakes of postoperative analgesics, more positive physiological responses evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms when compared with patients in the control group. Findings of this research suggested that plants in a hospital environment could be noninvasive, inexpensive, and an effective complementary medicine for patients recovering from abdominal surgery.
Article
Exposure to natural environments can help restore depleted emotional and cognitive resources. However, investigation of the relative impacts of different natural environments among large samples is limited. Using data from 4255 respondents drawn from Natural England's Monitoring Engagement with the Natural Environment survey (2009-2011), we investigated feelings of restoration (calm, relaxed, revitalized and refreshed) recalled by individuals after visits to different natural environments within the last week. Controlling for demographic and visit characteristics we found that of the broad environmental categories, coastal visits were associated with the most restoration and town and urban parks with the least. In terms of specific environmental types two "green space" locations (woodlands/forests and hills/moorland/mountains) were associated with levels of restoration comparable to coastal locations. Urban playing fields were associated with the least restoration. Restoration was positively associated with visit duration (a potential dose-response effect), and visits with children were associated with less restoration than visits alone. There was little evidence that different activities (e.g. walking, exercising) were associated with differences in restoration. The data may improve our understanding of the "cultural eco-system services" provided by different natural environments and help decision makers keen to invest scare resources in those environments most associated with psychological benefits. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.
Article
In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.
Article
Awe has been defined as an emotional response to perceptually vast stimuli that overwhelm current mental structures, yet facilitate attempts at accommodation. Four studies are presented showing the information-focused nature of awe elicitors, documenting the self-diminishing effects of awe experience, and exploring the effects of awe on the content of the self-concept. Study 1 documented the information-focused, asocial nature of awe elicitors in participant narratives. Study 2 contrasted the stimulus-focused, self-diminishing nature of appraisals and feelings associated with a prototypical awe experience with the self-focused appraisals and feelings associated with pride. Study 3 found that dispositional awe-proneness, but not dispositional joy or pride, was associated with low Need for Cognitive Closure, and also documented a relationship between dispositional awe and increased emphasis on membership in "universal" categories in participants' self-concepts. Study 4 replicated the self-concept finding from Study 3 using experimentally elicited awe. Implications for future work on awe are discussed.
Article
Past research argues that religious commitments shape individuals’ prosocial sentiments, including their generosity and solidarity. But what drives the prosociality of less religious people? Three studies tested the hypothesis that, with fewer religious expectations of prosociality, less religious individuals’ levels of compassion will play a larger role in their prosocial tendencies. In Study 1, religiosity moderated the relationship between trait compassion and prosocial behavior such that compassion was more critical to the generosity of less religious people. In Study 2, a compassion induction increased generosity among less religious individuals but not among more religious individuals. In Study 3, state feelings of compassion predicted increased generosity across a variety of economic tasks for less religious individuals but not among more religious individuals. These results suggest that the prosociality of less religious individuals is driven to a greater extent by levels of compassion than is the prosociality of the more religious.
Article
Individuals perceive beauty as a function of physical attributes paired with the subjective experience of an object or a space. Yet, little or no research has investigated how either relational or emotional experiences shape perceptions of the physical world. Four studies were conducted to address this question using self-determination theory (Ryan and Deci in Psychol Inq 11:319–338, 2000) as a guiding framework. Studies 1 and 2 indicated that satisfaction of the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy in one’s childhood home was linked to perceptions of beauty directly and indirectly through emotions of the past (recollections of happiness) and present (nostalgia). Two additional studies focused on present-day spaces. In Study 3, we found that need satisfaction impacted perceptions of the university campus as beautiful. In a final study, we manipulated needs in the lab to identify a causal model of aesthetic perceptions. Findings are contextualized within the self-determination theory and perceived beauty literatures.
Article
In this paper we present a prototype approach to awe. We suggest that two appraisals are central and are present in all clear cases of awe: perceived vastness, and a need for accommodation, defined as an inability to assimilate an experience into current mental structures. Five additional appraisals account for variation in the hedonic tone of awe experiences: threat, beauty, exceptional ability, virtue, and the supernatural. We derive this perspective from a review of what has been written about awe in religion, philosophy, sociology, and psychology, and then we apply this perspective to an analysis of awe and related states such as admiration, elevation, and the epiphanic experience.
Article
Social psychology and personality theorists have proposed that our understanding of prosocial behavior will be enhanced by examining the interplay of traits and motives. The present study was designed to test several pathways by which agreeableness, extraversion, and prosocial value motivation to volunteer influence volunteerism. A sample of 796 college students completed measures of the Big Five traits, prosocial value motivation to volunteer, and volunteering. Results of path analyses showed that prosocial value motivation to volunteer partially mediated the relations between agreeableness and extraversion, and volunteering. Furthermore, as agreeableness decreased, extraversion was more strongly related to prosocial value motivation to volunteer. In contrast, there was no support for the pathway in which extraversion and prosocial value motivation to volunteer jointly affect volunteering. Discussion focuses on the utility of examining the links among traits and motives in predicting volunteering.
Article
Disconnection from the natural world may be contributing to our planet's destruction. The authors propose a new construct, Nature Relatedness (NR), and a scale that assesses the affective, cognitive, and experiential aspects of individuals' connection to nature. In Study 1, the authors explored the internal structure of the NR item responses in a sample of 831 participants using factor analysis. They tested the construct validity of NR with respect to an assortment of environmental and personality measures. In Study 2, they employed experience sampling methodology examining if NR people spend more time outdoors, in nature. Across studies, NR correlated with environmental scales, behavior, and frequency of time in nature, supporting the reliability and validity of NR, as well as the contribution of NR (over and above other measures) to environmental concern and behavior. The potential of NR as a useful method for investigating human-nature relationships and the processes underlying environmental concern and behaviors are discussed.
Article
Associations between place attachment and preferences for local landscape categories were investigated. The subjects were the inhabitants of the Røros area in Southern Norway, a World Heritage site designated for its history of mining and unique architectural attributes. Revealed landscape preferences were clustered into four categories (from most to least preferred): Wildlands, Farm environment, Cultural landscapes and Modern agriculture. Significant positive associations were found between place attachment and two of these categories (Wildlands, Farm environment), indicating that place attachment had a positive effect on attractiveness of landscapes that have a natural character, and landscapes that contain historically important elements. Since both attachment to a place and preference for natural and traditional landscapes reflect positive emotions, the findings may partly be explained by the tendency to evaluate an environment along a pleasant–unpleasant dimension. Another explanatory factor may be that the subjects primarily pay attention to the recreational/restorative functions of the landscapes shown, and that focus on alternative functions (e.g. residential functions) could lead to different associations between place attachment and landscape preferences.
Article
According to a two-step account of the mere-exposure effect, repeated exposure leads to the subjective feeling of perceptual fluency, which in turn influences liking. If so, perceptual fluency manipulated by means other than repetition should influence liking. In three experiments, effects of perceptual fluency on affective judgments were examined. In Experiment 1, higher perceptual fluency was achieved by presenting a matching rather than nonmatching prime before showing a target picture. Participants judged targets as prettier if preceded by a matching rather than nonmatching prime. In Experi- ment 2, perceptual fluency was manipulated by figure-ground contrast. Stimuli were judged as more pretty, and less ugly, the higher the con- trast. In Experiment 3, perceptual fluency was manipulated by presen- tation duration. Stimuli shown for a longer duration were liked more, and disliked less. We conclude (a) that perceptual fluency increases liking and (b) that the experience of fluency is affectively positive, and hence attributed to positive but not to negative features, as reflected in a differential impact on positive and negative judgments. 0
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)