A psychological inquiry into the relationship between people and the natural environment

Conradie, Petra Stefanie (2001-12)

Thesis (Msc)--Stellenbosch University, 2001

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There has been a growing awareness of nature among psychologists in recent years, both in terms of how psychology can contribute to the preservation of nature, and utilise its benefits for human beings. In this paper both these aspects of the human-nature relationship are explored. The sense of connectedness between people and nature appears to be the common ground between these two approaches, and it is recommended that experiential as well as cognitive elements of the relationship should be recognised. A limited qualitative pilot study was conducted with five participants of a weekend wilderness experience. All the participants were female first year psychology students. Confirming previous research, this study found that the experience of nature is highly individualised, and includes heightened self-awareness, relaxation, social relationships, spiritual elements, and a sense of connectedness to nature.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sielkundiges raak toenemend bewus van die natuur, in terme van die wyses waarop sielkunde kan bydra tot die beskerming van die omgewing, asook waarop die voordele wat dit vir die mens inhou, benut kan word. Beide aspekte van die verhouding tussen mens en natuur word in hierdie studie ondersoek. Die noue verbintenis tussen mens en natuur blyk die onderliggende faktor tot beide benaderings te wees, en dit word aanbeveel dat die eksperiënsiële sowel as kognitiewe elemente van hierdie verhouding in ag geneem moet word. 'n Beperkte kwalitatiewe loods-studie is uitgevoer met vyf deelnemers van 'n wildemes-ervaring, almal vroulike eerste-jaar sielkunde studente. In ooreenstemming met vorige navorsing het hierdie studie bevind dat die ervaring van die natuur hoogs geïndividualiseerd is, en verhoogde self-gewaarwording, ontspanning, sosiale verhoudings, spirituale elemente, en 'n sin van verbintenis aan die natuur, insluit.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52126
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