Creating Connection and Joy

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Despite the unambiguous findings of the current meta-analysis and the preferences for nature that people commonly hold Frumkin, , research suggests that individuals tend to commit affective forecasting errors and underestimate the hedonic benefits that being in nature will bring them Nisbet and Zelenski, Given that people are spending the vast majority of their time indoors Evans and McCoy, ; MacKerron and Mourato, and the increasing urbanization of the world's population United Nations Population Division, , many of us may be missing out on the beneficial effects of connecting to nature in the moment and in general.

This could be contributing to a decrease in not only our own well-being, but that of our planet as well. The current meta-analysis provides further evidence that a sustainable future and a happy future are compatible and symbiotic, not mutually exclusive.

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The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. We thank Leslie Helmus and Kelly Babchishin for providing the advanced statistics course on meta-analysis which was the catalyst for this research project and for their advice on analyses. We also thank all the researchers who graciously shared their findings with us which allowed this meta-analysis to be more comprehensive than it would have been without their help. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Journal List Front Psychol v.

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Front Psychol. Published online Sep 8. Colin A. Capaldi , Raelyne L. Dopko , and John M. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article was submitted to Cognitive Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Received Mar 31; Accepted Aug The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. DOCX 44K. Abstract Research suggests that contact with nature can be beneficial, for example leading to improvements in mood, cognition, and health. Keywords: nature relatedness, connectedness to nature, happiness, subjective well-being, biophilia, hedonic well-being, meta-analysis, human-nature relationship. Introduction Wilson posits that humans have an inborn tendency to focus on and affiliate with other living things.

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Methods Inclusion and exclusion criteria To be included in this meta-analysis, studies had to employ at least one measure of nature connectedness and at least one measure of happiness, and report on their relationship. Table 1 Nature connectedness measures included in meta-analysis. Measure Citation Sample number Allo-inclusive identity Leary et al. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Happiness measures included in meta-analysis. Measure Citation Sample number Affect-adjective scale Diener and Emmons, 1, 2b Calm, contentment, and peacefulness—single item Nisbet, a , b 11, 12 Current mood scale from the multidimensional comfort questionnaire Steyer et al.

Search strategies Numerous methods were used to identify studies.


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Coding procedure A standard coding form and explicit rules outlined in a coding manual that was developed for the current meta-analysis were used for each sample see Supplementary Material. Statistical methods Effect size Because the relationship between two continuous variables was being examined, correlation coefficients were the effect size used to summarize the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness in this meta-analysis.

Aggregation of findings Both fixed-effect and random-effects meta-analyses were conducted Borenstein et al. Moderator analyses For categorical moderators, fixed-effect between-level Q moderator analyses were conducted Borenstein et al. Results Overview of included studies As of August 2nd, , 30 non-overlapping samples from 21 studies were identified.

Table 3 Descriptive information for included samples. Figure 1. Table 4 Meta-analysis results. Investigation of potential moderators Moderator analyses were conducted to examine whether publication status, gender, year, age, type of happiness, and measure of nature connectedness accounted for the significant variability across samples. Publication status To examine whether there was a publication bias, fixed-effect between-level Q moderator analyses were run with publication status i.

Table 5 Fixed-effect between-level Q moderator analysis for publication bias. Gender In order to investigate whether gender moderates the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness, a fixed-effect meta-regression was conducted with percentage of females in the sample as the predictor variable. Year In order to investigate whether the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness is influenced by the year, fixed-effect meta-regressions were conducted with year as the predictor variable.

Age In order to examine whether the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness stays the same throughout the lifespan, fixed-effect meta-regressions were conducted with average age of the sample as the predictor variable. Type of happiness The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness may depend on how happiness is defined and measured. Measure of nature connectedness The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness may depend on the measure used to assess one's connection to nature.

Discussion The purpose of this study was to provide a quantitative summary of the literature on the link between nature connectedness and happiness.


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  6. Conflict of interest statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Acknowledgments We thank Leslie Helmus and Kelly Babchishin for providing the advanced statistics course on meta-analysis which was the catalyst for this research project and for their advice on analyses.

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    Aitken N. Application of the theory of planned behavior to leisure choice. Leisure Res. Inclusion of other in the self scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. Cultural mosaics and mental models of nature. Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model.

    The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature.

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    Interacting with nature improves cognition and affect for individuals with depression. An examination of the relationship between happiness, loneliness, and shyness in college students. Introduction to Meta-Analysis. A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments. BMC Public Health 10 Yes, but what's the mechanism? The evolution of happiness. Cervinka R. Are nature lovers happy? On various indicators of well-being and connectedness with nature. Health Psychol.

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