Anxiety and fear give way to joy and awe when we tune into scenes of the natural world, finds a study commissioned by BBC, makers of “Planet Earth II.” from Watching nature documentaries boosts happiness, says study | MNN – Mother Nature Network
There’s a lot of research tracking and measuring the benefits of engaging with nature, and much of it is done using video, TV and other kinds of images. This is the first time I’ve seen research of this kind commissioned by a specific TV show and the results are very interesting. They also back up my own theory of technobiophilia, “the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology“.
BBC Earth commissioned a multi-country online quantitative study to examine the impact of watching natural history content on viewers’ emotions. This was conducted in partnership with an international panel company, with data collected and weighted to be nationally representative in each country. Respondents viewed one of five clips: two from Planet Earth II, one from a popular drama, one montage of news coverage, and one control video. The hypothesis was that watching content from Planet Earth II could improve the sensation of positive emotions and reduce the sensation of negative emotions. The study found a range of significant results evidencing not only that watching content from Planet Earth II inspired significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity, but that it also acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress. In the majority of cases, changes in emotions were caused by the type of content viewed, and significantly different from the control group. Our findings therefore support the conclusion that viewing Planet Earth II inspires positive changes in emotions that are distinct to the natural history genre.
From: EXPLORING THE EMOTIONAL STATE OF ‘REAL HAPPINESS’. A STUDY INTO THE EFFECTS OF WATCHING NATURAL HISTORY TELEVISION CONTENT. Download
Dacher Keltner, Richard Bowman, and Harriet Richards. University of Berkeley, California; BBC Worldwide Global Insight Team
Just in case you don’t believe it, test yourself with this cute aardvark movie.
Do you want to connect better with nature without giving up your wired life? If so, what kind of help do you need?
I’m working on a new book called ‘Feel Better Without Logging Off‘. It will come out as a Kindle this April.
This is the first time I’ve written a Kindle book from scratch and it’s a very interesting and enjoyable experience, although I must admit I’m struggling to get the right cover at the moment.
It’s time for an antidote to that nagging anxiety about whether you should go on a digital detox, throw your mobile away, live offline in a forest et cetera.
It doesn’t need to be like that.
So I’m writing a short practical guide to integrating the wired life with the natural world. It includes experiments to try, and it’s designed to be entirely guilt-free.
In 2013 Bloomsbury published ‘Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace’. It was the result of eight years of meticulous research and covered a wide range of topics, with a tone geared towards an academic reader.
It has attracted attention from designers, architects, planners and all kinds of specialists interested in the future of nature, technology and wellbeing. But not everyone wants to read an academic book, plus my research has expanded hugely since it came out.
What do you think?
The book is almost done but I’d like to check I’ve covered everything that should be in there. So please let me know – what would you like to see included? Please let me know in the comments, or via one of the following:
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Thanks in advance :)
The EU CyberParks project, of which I’m a member, has launched its new website.
You may wonder what a CyberPark is? This is our draft definition:
“A cyberpark is designed ecosystem of living processes and technologies. It comprises an outdoor green or blue space interacting with a digital intelligent environment. It usually contains living beings, plants, trees, and water features, many of which are integrated with computerised sensors, haptic technologies and virtual objects.” Its features can vary widely. For example, it can be used for a range of purposes such as exercise, leisure, social interaction, relaxation and many other activities.
- It may be public or private.
- It can be found in urban, suburban, rural, coastal and wilderness areas.
- It can consist of a large area of land not covered with buildings, roads, or sports facilities, or a dedicated small area in such places as streets, squares, buildings (courtyards, roofs), or disused thoroughfares like the New York Highline. It can also be a beach, ocean, lake, river, or wetland.
CyberParks’ main objective is to create a research platform on the relationship between Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the production of public open spaces, and their relevance to sustainable urban development. The impacts of this relationship will be explored from social, ecological and urban design perspectives. Please follow us on our journey!