Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Terri M. Davis
Mindfulness, Well being, Connectedness to nature
Exposure to in-vivo and virtual nature has been shown to increase a person’s positive affect from a variety of mechanisms. Natural settings and green-spaces allow for the recovery of attentional resources whereas urban environments elicit opposite effects. Individuals who practice mindfulness in general exhibit greater attentional resources and potentially could see added benefit to their well-being through exposure to natural environments. This research investigated whether those who are more mindful receive greater benefits from exposure to virtual restorative natural environments compared to individuals who do not practice or engage with mindfulness regularly. Subjects viewed an urban, urban/nature, or nature representative video and responded to a series of questionnaires, consisting of connectedness to nature, mindfulness, and affect self-report measures. Results confirm previous research showing that subtle virtual exposure to a restorative natural setting increase one’s connectedness to nature and positive affect, however had no impact on changes in mindfulness. Further moderation analysis testing the interactive effects of dispositional mindfulness and exposure to virtual nature showed a subtle decrease in positive affect as one’s mindfulness increases in those who have low to average dispositional mindfulness. This effect was no longer seen in those who have higher levels of mindfulness and/or who practice mindfulness skills regularly. This finding is new to researchers and provides evidence to approach studying this interaction with caution. The researchers discuss this implication as well as future guidance for analysis.
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Stewart, Mathew, "Mindfulness and the Relationship Between Connectedness to Nature and Affect" (2022). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 476.