Category Archives: Research

Publishing a Kindle book, and then a paperback too

Thousands of people have published their own Kindle books and then blogged about the process. I decided to do the same. But this is in no way a definitive guide. It’s just a list of bits of information I picked up along the way and thought ‘that’s useful, I wish I’d known it before’. I’ve added on some notes about a later decision to produce a print-on-demand paperback too.

This is the book I’m discussing – Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age: how to feel better without logging off.

Some parts of the process of publishing a Kindle are surprisingly unintuitive, whilst other parts are easier than you think. But at the start you can only know what you know. After that, you learn as you go along. These are my learnings. I hope they’re helpful to you. Continue reading Publishing a Kindle book, and then a paperback too

The Biophilia Hypothesis – podcast from Stuff to Blow Your Mind @BLOWtheMIND

A quirky and complicated discussion of biophilia – what it is, why it is, and how it matters. Set aside an hour to just go with the flow as Robert Lamb and John McCormick roam the savannas of biophilic theory. Very enjoyable.

Find it at Stuff to Blow Your Mind: The Biophilia Hypothesis.

Anxiety and fear give way to joy and awe when we tune into scenes of the natural world

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.