Natural resistance : exposure to nature and self-regulation, mood, and physiology after ego-depletion

Article

Beute, F. & Kort, de, Y.A.W. (2014). Natural resistance : exposure to nature and self-regulation, mood, and physiology after ego-depletion. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 167-178. In Scopus Cited 9 times.

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Abstract

 

Positive effects of exposure to nature have been reported for stress, mood, and executive functioning. In the present research we investigated whether viewing natural scenes can also improve self-regulation. In line with recent theoretical propositions these replenishing effects were investigated in a typical ego- depletion paradigm. In two studies we found indications for beneficial effects of a short exposure to nature on lower order self-regulation (e.g., controlling impulses), but not on a higher-order executive functioning task. Furthermore, we found beneficial effects on mood and heart rate variability, a physi- ological measure related to exertion of self-control and stress. Importantly, beneficial effects of nature emerged even when participants had not been previously depleted, which challenges the current postulation that nature mostly has restorative benefits. We propose that nature might also have buffering or ‘instorative’ effects.