Hikers More Inspired on Tests after Four Days Unplugged
Backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas.
“This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” says David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah. “It provides a rationale for trying to understand what is a healthy way to interact in the world, and that burying yourself in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature.”
The study by Strayer and University of Kansas psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley was scheduled for publication Dec. 12 in PLOS ONE, an online journal published by the Public Library of Science. Don’t the results seem obvious? “Writers for centuries have talked about why interacting with nature is important, and lots of people go on vacations,” says Strayer. “But I don’t think we know very well what the benefits are from a scientific perspective.” The study involved 56 people – 30 men and 26 women – with an average age of 28 ..............
NATURE & CREATIVITY