Nature immersion and goals: perspective of the dual-valuing process model




Logan, Shelby

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Being in nature has been associated with many positive outcomes, including well-being and, more recently, with sophisticated outcomes such as goal orientation. We proposed that the dialectic between the organismic valuing process (OVP) and sociocognitive valuing process (SVP) accounts for why immersion in natural environments may lead to a preference for pursuing intrinsic goals (e.g., affiliation, personal growth) over extrinsic goals (e.g., popularity, financial success). We randomly assigned participants (N = 75) to go on a series of up to five walks in four different kinds of environments, representing a continuum of natural environments. We hypothesized that participants who were immersed in more natural environments would report a higher relative intrinsic goal orientation than participants in less natural environments, and that this effect would be mediated by both activation of the OVP and non-activation of the SVP. We found no significant main effect of nature immersion on relative intrinsic goal valuing (b = 0.10, p = 0.34), but we did find a significant positive effect of nature immersion on activation of the OVP (b = 0.37, p < 0.01) and a significant negative effect of wild nature immersion on activation of SVP (b = -0.28, p < 0.01). However, post-hoc tests revealed that participants in the most natural environment (i.e., the Forest condition) were the most likely to experience effects of both OVP activation and SVP non-activation. Interpretations of these results are discussed, and limitations of the study are addressed.



nature, goals, motivation, environmental, values