The affective quality of human-natural environment relationships

Evol Psychol. 2011 Oct 3;9(3):451-69.


Using a psychometric methodology the present study explored the associations between natural environments and experiential feeling states. The effects of the frequency of participants' (N = 90) experience of the natural environment and of the location of their childhood upbringing were also investigated. Ten natural environments mapped on to an orthogonal two-component experiential structure labeled Eudemonia (ostensibly positive feelings) and Apprehension (ostensibly negative feelings). Generally, the more natural environments tended to be associated with higher eudemonia and higher apprehension, the less natural environments with both lower eudemonia and lower apprehension. In line with expectations, participants from rural childhood locations, compared with urban participants, reported less Apprehension and participants with greater experience of the natural environment, compared with participants with less experience, reported greater Eudemonia and less Apprehension. Results are discussed in relation to environmental experiences and affective psychological wellbeing.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Emotions*
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Rural Population
  • Students / psychology
  • United Kingdom
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult