Evolutionary and cultural influences on interactions with nature: a comparison of British and Chinese visitors to the New Forest National Park and Jiuzhaigou National Scenic Area.

This source preferred by Dorothy Fox

Authors: Fox, D.

Start date: 21 August 2012

The Biophilia thesis (Wilson 1984) proposes that people have a need to affiliate with nature. Evolutionary psychologists argue that humans have evolved in a natural environment and therefore the feelings, which visitors have in nature, one would predict to be universal. However visitors’ attitudes to nature are likely to result from a co-creation of national culture and living environment. This study sought to provide evidence in support of these two claims using a survey of visitors to the New Forest National Park, England and Jiuzhaigou National Scenic Area, China (n= 981). Statistical analysis of the data showed that there were few differences between respondents in the two countries in respect of how they felt in nature, but numerous differences between them in regard to their attitudes to nature. Furthermore, in respect of the latter, it was demonstrated that whether a respondent grew up in a rural or urban area and where they lived at the time of the study was also relevant.

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