The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective

Front Cover
CUP Archive, Jul 28, 1989 - Psychology - 340 pages
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In this volume concerning the natural environment, people, and the relationship between them, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan offer the first research-based analysis of the vital psychological role that nature plays in our lives. Over a period of twenty years, the authors have sought to understand how people perceive nature and what types of natural environments they prefer, what psychological benefits they seem to derive from wilderness experiences, and why backyard gardens are especially important to some people. The book examines the satisfactions and advantages that various natural settings bring to us. While many readers may have little doubt that the natural environment makes a difference to them, they may be suprised to discover the pervasiveness of its impact on people of diverse ages and cultural heritages. Beyond the awe-inspiring mountains and waterfalls, many comparatively simple natural settings foster tranquility and well-being. The book explores questions such as: Is the effect of nature on people as powerful as it intuitively seems to be? What makes natural settings so compelling? How do settings restore bodily health? Are some natural patterns more effective than others? Are there ways to design, manage, and interpret natural environments so as to enhance their beneficial influences? A wide audience will find this analysis of our natural environment compelling and insightful.
  

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Contents

Nature and Human Nature
1
THE PREFERENCE FOR NATURE
9
The Prediction of Preference
40
Group Differences
72
BENEFITS AND SATISFACTIONS
117
Nearby Nature
150
TOWARD A SYNTHESIS
175
The Monster at the End of the Book
201
A Overview of Preference Research
207
B Preference Studies
216
Outdoor Challenge Program
292
Benefits and Satisfactions Studies
300
References
318
Author Index
335
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

Rachel Kaplan is an urban homesteader, artist, psychotherapist, and mother. She has spent the last ten years refining refining her skills as a food and herb grower. She grows much of the food for her family of three in small plots throughout her Northern California city. Her studies include somatic psychotherapy, body-based healing, yoga, permaculture, ceramics, ceramics, massage, and herbalism. She is the author of "The Probable Site of the Garden of Eden" and co-author of "Urban Homesteading" Kaplan lives in Sonoma County, California.

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