Lost in the wilderniss: Terror management, action orientation, and evaluations of nature

S.L. Koole, A.E. van den Berg

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    The authors propose that wilderness is intrinsically associated with death, and, consequently, terror management concerns may promote more negative evaluations of wilderness. Consistent with this, wilderness inspired more thoughts about death than either cultivated nature or urban environments (Study 1), and death reminders reduced perceived beauty of wilderness (Study 2). The authors further suggest that active self-regulation facilitates suppression of the dark side of wilderness. Consistent with this, action orientation was positively related to perceived beauty of wilderness (Study 3), and after viewing wilderness, action-oriented individuals were more efficient at suppressing the association between wilderness and death than state-oriented individuals (Study 4). Direct death reminders overruled the effects of action orientation on nature evaluation (Study 5), presumably because direct death reminders are difficult to suppress even for action-oriented individuals. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1014-1028
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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