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      The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health : Nature experience, cognitive function, and mental health

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      Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Scholars spanning a variety of disciplines have studied the ways in which contact with natural environments may impact human well-being. We review the effects of such nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health, synthesizing work from environmental psychology, urban planning, the medical literature, and landscape aesthetics. We provide an overview of the prevailing explanatory theories of these effects, the ways in which exposure to nature has been considered, and the role that individuals' preferences for nature may play in the impact of the environment on psychological functioning. Drawing from the highly productive but disparate programs of research in this area, we conclude by proposing a system of categorization for different types of nature experience. We also outline key questions for future work, including further inquiry into which elements of the natural environment may have impacts on cognitive function and mental health; what the most effective type, duration, and frequency of contact may be; and what the possible neural mechanisms are that could be responsible for the documented effects. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

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          Most cited references132

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          Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales.

          In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
                Wiley
                00778923
                February 2012
                February 2012
                February 09 2012
                : 1249
                : 1
                : 118-136
                Article
                10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06400.x
                22320203
                187788ac-bf21-406c-a455-234fb07fa4cc
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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