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      The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness: a meta-analysis


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          Research suggests that contact with nature can be beneficial, for example leading to improvements in mood, cognition, and health. A distinct but related idea is the personality construct of subjective nature connectedness, a stable individual difference in cognitive, affective, and experiential connection with the natural environment. Subjective nature connectedness is a strong predictor of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors that may also be positively associated with subjective well-being. This meta-analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between nature connectedness and happiness. Based on 30 samples ( n = 8523), a fixed-effect meta-analysis found a small but significant effect size ( r = 0.19). Those who are more connected to nature tended to experience more positive affect, vitality, and life satisfaction compared to those less connected to nature. Publication status, year, average age, and percentage of females in the sample were not significant moderators. Vitality had the strongest relationship with nature connectedness ( r = 0.24), followed by positive affect ( r = 0.22) and life satisfaction ( r = 0.17). In terms of specific nature connectedness measures, associations were the strongest between happiness and inclusion of nature in self ( r = 0.27), compared to nature relatedness ( r = 0.18) and connectedness to nature ( r = 0.18). This research highlights the importance of considering personality when examining the psychological benefits of nature. The results suggest that closer human-nature relationships do not have to come at the expense of happiness. Rather, this meta-analysis shows that being connected to nature and feeling happy are, in fact, connected.

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          Most cited references72

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          New Well-being Measures: Short Scales to Assess Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings

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            The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions.

            In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.
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              Does rejection hurt? An FMRI study of social exclusion.

              A neuroimaging study examined the neural correlates of social exclusion and tested the hypothesis that the brain bases of social pain are similar to those of physical pain. Participants were scanned while playing a virtual ball-tossing game in which they were ultimately excluded. Paralleling results from physical pain studies, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was more active during exclusion than during inclusion and correlated positively with self-reported distress. Right ventral prefrontal cortex (RVPFC) was active during exclusion and correlated negatively with self-reported distress. ACC changes mediated the RVPFC-distress correlation, suggesting that RVPFC regulates the distress of social exclusion by disrupting ACC activity.

                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                08 September 2014
                : 5
                : 976
                Department of Psychology, Carleton University Ottawa, ON, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Marc Glenn Berman, The University of South Carolina, USA

                Reviewed by: Sara Unsworth, San Diego State University, USA; William Sullivan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

                *Correspondence: John M. Zelenski, Department of Psychology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada e-mail: john_zelenski@ 123456carleton.ca

                This article was submitted to Cognitive Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

                Copyright © 2014 Capaldi, Dopko and Zelenski.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 31 March 2014
                : 18 August 2014
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 5, Equations: 0, References: 140, Pages: 15, Words: 13350
                Original Research Article

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                nature relatedness,connectedness to nature,happiness,subjective well-being,biophilia,hedonic well-being,meta-analysis,human-nature relationship


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