It has been proven that exposure to the natural world will decrease stress levels and stimulate healing. Now a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin confirms that nature makes you a nicer, more generous, better human being. Exposure to city-scapes, on the other hand, makes you more selfish, egocentric, greedier.
Miller-Mccune summarized the study that showed individuals slides from nature and from cities, then asked them questions examining the impact of the natural world on people’s values and aspirations.
A series of studies suggests immersion in nature “brings individuals closer to others, whereas human-made environments orient goals toward more selfish or self-interested ends.” Those exposed to the nature scenes placed a higher value on community/connectedness values and a lower value on self-oriented values than those who saw the cityscapes.
So why would immersion in nature instill feelings of selflessness? Weinstein and her colleagues suggest the answer lies in an enhanced sense of personal autonomy. “Nature affords individuals the chance to follow their interests and reduces pressures, fears, introjects and social expectations”.