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Humans and nature; Ten useful findings from Environmental Psychology research

Gatersleben, B (2008) Humans and nature; Ten useful findings from Environmental Psychology research Counselling Psychology Review, 23 (2). pp. 24-34.

Gatersleben 2008 Humans and nature.pdf
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It is now generally accepted that human activities are damaging the natural environment we live in and the natural resources that we depend upon. In the long run this development can have severe consequences for the quality of human life; indirectly, by depleting the natural resources necessary to sustain our material welfare, but also directly by damaging the quality of the natural environment (air, water, nature) in which we live. The presence of sustainability and global climate change on the political agenda has led to an increase in academic research on the relationship between people and their natural environment. Environmental psychologists study the interaction between people and their physical (built or natural) environment. This paper presents ten findings of environmental psychology research on people and their natural environment. Nature in this paper refers to any non-human living environmental features including plants, trees, water features, but also animals. However, the majority of research in this area focuses on green nature: i.e., the presence of plants and trees in the environment. This paper shows that most people are drawn towards natural environments and that passive as well as active exposure to the natural world has beneficial effects on the health and well-being of individuals (for overviews see Maller, Townsend, Pryor, Brown and St Leger (2005), Kahn (1997), Ulrich (1993) and Frumkin (2001). The paper will also show that although there is a lot we know, there is also a lot we don’t know, particularly in relation to the psychological processes which underlie the interaction between people and the natural 2 environment. This is just one of the potential areas wherein environmental and counselling psychologists might collaborate.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Gatersleben, B
Date : 2008
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Gatersleben B (2008). Humans and nature; Ten useful findings from Environmental Psychology research. Counselling Psychology Review 23(2):24-34. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 Oct 2012 14:21
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:43

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