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. 2009 Oct;35(10):1315-29.
doi: 10.1177/0146167209341649. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Can Nature Make Us More Caring? Effects of Immersion in Nature on Intrinsic Aspirations and Generosity

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Can Nature Make Us More Caring? Effects of Immersion in Nature on Intrinsic Aspirations and Generosity

Netta Weinstein et al. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. .

Abstract

Four studies examined the effects of nature on valuing intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. Intrinsic aspirations reflected prosocial and other-focused value orientations, and extrinsic aspirations predicted self-focused value orientations. Participants immersed in natural environments reported higher valuing of intrinsic aspirations and lower valuing of extrinsic aspirations, whereas those immersed in non-natural environments reported increased valuing of extrinsic aspirations and no change of intrinsic aspirations. Three studies explored experiences of nature relatedness and autonomy as underlying mechanisms of these effects, showing that nature immersion elicited these processes whereas non-nature immersion thwarted them and that they in turn predicted higher intrinsic and lower extrinsic aspirations. Studies 3 and 4 also extended the paradigm by testing these effects on generous decision making indicative of valuing intrinsic versus extrinsic aspirations.

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