05 March 2019

Can nature make us more caring? Effects of immersion in nature on intrinsic aspirations and generosity

This paper reports on the findings of four studies which examined whether psychological contact with, or immersion in, nature will facilitate valuing of more prosocial and less self-focused values and value-laden behaviours when compared to immersion in non-nature environments. All studies showed that participants exposed to nature valued intrinsic goals more and extrinsic goals less than they had before exposure. Overall, these results suggest that nature, which is inherently unrelated to human intervention, brings individuals closer to others, whereas human made environments orient goals toward more selfish or self-interested ends.