Image courtesy of Sarah Olmsted at Imagine Childhood
Nature makes us nicer. And more community-oriented. And more generous. I know, some of you are thinking “Duh-uh, we knew that all along.” Well, now you have your proof.
A new study by the University of Rochester found that even after just looking at pictures of nature, people felt closer to their community, were more willing to give money to a charitable cause, and cared more about social outcomes than they were after looking at “man-made” scenes. Researchers explain that connecting to nature also helps people to connect to their basic good values. Just imagine how much more exponentially multiplied the results would be if people were to experience nature in person rather than just by looking at pictures. See the Treehugger article for the full story.
So go on, pat the bunny! Imagine Childhood is one of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network’s Wonderful Sponsors. Visit their website and show them some love. The have all sorts of wonderful things to make the most of you and your kids’ outdoor experience, and Sarah’s blog is filled with beautiful images of nature. One of these days, I’m going to buy the same camera that she has.
And if you’re feeling generous after reading this post, donate to the TLN. We will put your gift to good use! Here’s another picture for inspiration:
Full citation: Weinstein, Netta, Richard Ryan, and Andrew Przybylski (2009). “Can Nature Make Us More Caring? Effects of Immersion in Nature on Intrinsic Aspirations and Generosity.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, October, Vol. 35: pp. 1315-1329.