Publication Date

11-2-2015

Abstract

A growing body of empirical research suggests that brief contact with natural environments improves emotional well-being. The current study synthesizes this body of research using meta-analytic techniques and assesses the mean effect size of exposure to natural environments on both positive and negative affect. Thirty-two studies with a total of 2,356 participants were included. Across these studies, exposure to natural environments was associated with a moderate increase in positive affect and a smaller, yet consistent, decrease in negative affect relative to comparison conditions. Significant heterogeneity was found for the effect of nature on positive affect, and type of emotion assessment, type of exposure to nature, location of study, and mean age of sample were found to moderate this effect. The implications of these findings for existing theory and research are discussed, with particular emphasis placed on potential avenues for fruitful future research examining the effects of nature on well-being.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Journal

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Volume Number

10

Issue Number

6

First Page Number

507

Last Page Number

519

DOI

10.1080/17439760.2014.994224

Type

Article

Department

Psychology

Comments

The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in JOURNAL OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, 2015-11-02, http://www.tandfonline.com/

DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2014.994224

Rights

In Copyright (InC)

Included in

Psychology Commons

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