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dc.contributor.advisorConner, Tamlin
dc.contributor.authorSato, Izuru
dc.date.available2016-10-19T20:33:48Z
dc.date.copyright2016
dc.identifier.citationSato, I. (2016). Understanding the Beneficial Relationship between Nature and Well-Being in Daily Life– a Multi-Method Mediational Investigation (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/6854en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/6854
dc.description.abstractNature is thought to enrich well-being: The more time people spend in nature, the happier they feel. But how consistent is this link, and what mechanisms might account for the salutogenic effects of nature on well-being? The aim of this thesis was to investigate the beneficial effects of nature on emotional well-being in people’s daily lives and to deepen the scientific understanding of the mechanism(s) linking nature to emotional well-being. Following a brief overview of this thesis (Chapter 1- Introduction), I discuss the current literature on nature and well-being, focusing on theories of biophilia and attentional theories that might account for the nature and well-being relationship (Chapter 2- Literature Review). In the literature review, I identify several gaps in current research and discuss one possible mediator of the link between nature and well-being - the concept of fascination (defined as the extent to which attention is drawn effortlessly by objects in the environment). Next, I present a series of five empirical studies (Study 1-5) consisting of one correlational daily diary study and four field experiments that collectively sought to test the relationship between nature and two markers of well-being – increased positive affect and decreased negative affect. Study 1-2 explored and established fascination as a reliable mediator of the relationship between nature and positive affect (PA). Study 3-4 replicated fascination as a mediator of the nature-PA link and also eliminated two other potential mediators - mindfulness (Study 3) and heart rate variability as a physiological indicator (Study 4). After establishing fascination as the standard mediator which explains how nature may influence positive affect (PA), Study 5 investigated several other potential factors which together mediated the nature and PA link (fascination, fluency, and savoring). Path analyses in Study 5 using multi-level structural equation modeling (MSEM) suggested that daily fascination, fluency, and savoring collectively mediated the link between nature and PA: experiencing more fascination in nature contributed to greater fluency in nature, and this fascination-fluency circuit enhanced the experience of savoring, contributing to increases in daily PA. Overall, the results across all five studies confirmed the positive relationship between nature and PA in daily life, and suggested that the cognitive quality of experiences in nature (fascination and fluency) and emotion regulation following nature (savoring) may explain why people feel happier after spending time in nature. In the General Discussion, I discuss these findings and the contribution made by this thesis to the literature on nature and emotional well-being.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectnature
dc.subjectnature experience
dc.subjectfascination
dc.subjectfluency
dc.subjectsavoring
dc.subjectattention restoration
dc.subjectemotion regulation
dc.subjectpositive affect
dc.titleUnderstanding the Beneficial Relationship between Nature and Well-Being in Daily Life– a Multi-Method Mediational Investigation
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2016-10-19T07:40:49Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychology
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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