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

Marlien ter Heijne, Agnes van den Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article describes two studies that examined people's emotional responses to threatening encounters with nature. In Study 1, participants from The Netherlands were asked to describe a fearful experience with nature in their home country. We identified four broad categories of fear-relevant situations, named Close Encounters, Forceful Situations, Overwhelming Situations, and Disorienting Situations. Each of these situations evoked negative as well as positive emotions. Study 2 investigated the role of sensation seeking and gender in emotional responses to standardized descriptions of threatening encounters with nature. High sensation seekers and men, as compared to low sensation seekers and women, responded less often with negative emotion and avoidance tendencies, and more often with positive emotion and approach tendencies. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2005

Keywords

  • SENSATION SEEKING
  • PERCEIVED DANGER
  • BETA-ENDORPHIN
  • EVOLVED MODULE
  • PREPAREDNESS
  • EXPERIENCE
  • PREFERENCE
  • PHOBIAS
  • MANAGEMENT
  • WILDERNESS

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