• A study to investigate the use of perspective, in a short computer-based intervention, to influence self-reported nature connection, and environmental attitude

      Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Goldstein, Thomas (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      High levels of environmental damage have been leading towards potential planetary emergency, and high levels of stress have been affecting large a percentage of the global population. Previous research focused on increasing nature connection through immersion in nature rather than computer-based urban initiatives. Very little research has looked at how perspectives can be most effectively used to increase a sense of nature connection. This study used a combination of short video clips, presented with one of two possible perspectives to participants. Forty six participants took part in the study based on opportunity sampling, from the author’s personal social network and from the university psychology department. Group A were presented with the perspective of humans being separate from nature, while Group B were presented with the perspective of nature being home for humans. Questionnaires were used to measure levels of pro-environmental attitude, nature connection, environmental motives and emotional state before and after the intervention. Correlation and 2x2 ANOVAs were used to analyse the data. Perspective did not show a significant main effect. Both nature connection and pro-environmental attitude were significantly increased during the intervention (ηp2= .12 and .38 respectively), as was negative emotional state (ηp2= .46). Change in nature connection showed significant positive correlation to change in environmental attitude (r = .51). Increase in negative emotional state was significantly correlated with increase in nature connection (r = .37). Future research is needed to better understand the use of perspective to increase nature connection. Nature connection appears to be well linked to environmental attitude. The powerful role of negative emotions was shown, and the importance of being aware of the implications and limiting their use was highlighted. Overall, it was shown that a computer based intervention can be used into increase self-reported levels of nature connection and pro-environmental attitudes.