Are nature lovers more innovative? The relationship between connectedness with nature and cognitive styles

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  • Lai Yin Carmen Leong, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, Denmark
  • Ronald Fischer, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington
  • ,
  • John McClure, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington

This paper tests whether people's sense of connectedness with the natural environment is related to cognitive styles such as Kirton's adaption-innovation (KAI), and analytic-holistic thinking (AHT). We conducted two studies with Singaporean secondary students as participants. Study 1 (N = 138), using an online survey, established the significant positive relationship between the nature relatedness self subscale and both the KAI and the ART cognitive styles. Study 2 (N = 185), using pen and paper surveys, replicated Study 1's findings and found that connectedness with nature was significantly related to both the KAI and the ART cognitive styles beyond alternative explanations (demographic and well-being status). Students who were more connected with nature preferred innovative and holistic cognitive styles, while controlling for their general emotional status and well-being. These findings are the first to establish the link between connectedness with nature and cognitive styles. Future research and implications are discussed. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume40
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
ISSN0272-4944
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

    Research areas

  • Connectedness with nature, Nature relatedness, Cognitive styles, Innovative thinking, Analytic-holistic thinking, Well-being, NATURE RELATEDNESS, SCALE, THINKING, VALIDATION, CREATIVITY, BEHAVIOR, HAPPY, SELF

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