11-12 April 2019
Nature and Psychology: How the Natural World Shapes Our Cognition
Coordinated by: Anne Schutte, Ph.D., Julia Torquati, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Stevens, Ph.D.
Over the years, Americans have decreased the amount of time spent in natural environments. Children, in particular, spend less time outdoors than in the past. Yet, interacting with nature has important positive effects on human behavior, health, and well-being. Notably, interacting with nature decreases stress, increases happiness, improves mood, and restores attention. This area of research spans many disciplines including psychology, education, health sciences, natural resources, environmental studies, landscape design, and architecture, just to name a few. These disciplines work at different levels of analyses with different types of research questions. The primary goal of this symposium is to delve deeper into the question of the mechanism(s) underlying these positive effects through bringing together researchers from various disciplines.