Saturday, June 14, 2008

Forces of Nature Affect Implicit Connections with Nature

Well, that's the title of our latest paper, which Sean and I submitted to the Journal of Environmental Psychology yesterday. We did a 10-month long project investigating the extent to which people associate themselves to the natural or built environment across seasonal and meteorological changes.

There's plenty of research in the environmental literature that suggests people have a "primitive belief" about nature that's dispositional (meaning, it's like an inherited trait we all have in our DNA). If that's the case, then it suggests we're always connected with nature, so much so that we prefer nature over built environments. It also suggests that our connections with nature aren't influenced by contextual factors (e.g., sitting in a courtyard or laboratory), although there's evidence that with repeated exposure (e.g., going to a zoo), our connectedness with nature strengthens.

So that led us to ask this question - What happens if you consider forces of nature with respect to people's connections with nature? If the dispositional view is correct, we should always be connected with nature no matter what changes occur in the physical environment. But if context matters, then people's connectedness with nature may change as the seasons, temperatures, and precipitation levels change.

Well, what do you think we found? Perhaps the title gives us away, but I'm curious to know your thoughts on the subject (without evoking too much hindsight bias!).

1 comment:

Nate Ring said...

Oh I really wanted to be at that fair, but I was attending a protest.

More about that paper on a later date, seeing as I was on my feet for 12 straight hours...