Nature Connectedness Moderates the Effect of Nature Exposure on Explicit and Implicit Measures of Emotion

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Ethan A. McMahan
David Estes
Jessica S. Murfin
Cruz M. Bryan


Connectedness to nature, natural environments, emotion, and well-being.


Previous research indicates that both short-term and long-term exposure to natural environments is associated with higher levels of emotional well-being. However, less research has examined whether person-related factors may impact the salutogenic effects of nature. In the current study, we examined whether trait-level nature connectedness moderates the effect of exposure to nature on explicit and implicit measures of affect. Participants (n = 89) completed baseline measurements of trait nature connectedness and affective state. Approximately two weeks later, participants viewed a lab-based immersive simulation of either a natural or built environment and then again completed measures of affective state. Findings indicated that trait nature connectedness moderated the effect of nature on affect, with more positive outcomes of nature exposure observed among those high in nature connectedness. These findings suggest that interacting with nature may be especially beneficial for those who already feel a strong sense of connectedness to the natural environment.


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