Fear versus fascination: an exploration of emotional responses to natural threats

A.E. van den Berg, M. ter Heijne

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Nature has many positive experiences to offer, such as aesthetic pleasure and restoration from stress. But there is also a dark side to contact with nature. Natural environments contain many dangers, such as dangerous animals and lightning, that can strike quickly and without warning. People's reactions to these natural threats show considerable variation. Encounters with threatening aspects of nature may evoke strong fears, but people may also derive highly positive and meaningful experiences from such encounters. We have conducted two studies that sought to gain more insight into this variation in emotional responses to natural threats. Study 1 consisted of an exploration of Dutch people's descriptions of threatening encounters with nature. As predicted, such encounters did not only evoke fear, but also positive emotions. Study 2 investigated emotional responses to standardized descriptions of threatening encounters with nature. Individual differences in emotional responses to these descriptions were found to be systematically related to gender and sensation seeking.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event6th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Bochum -
Duration: 19 Sep 200521 Sep 2005

Conference

Conference6th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Bochum
Period19/09/0521/09/05

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    van den Berg, A. E., & ter Heijne, M. (2005). Fear versus fascination: an exploration of emotional responses to natural threats. Abstract from 6th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, Bochum, .