Inducing awe with nature environments: implications for mental health

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Yoe (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Nathan Roth

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to further investigate if 360-degree-degree nature videos can produce similar positive mental health outcomes associated with real-life nature environments. Specifically, this study measured participant levels of hope, well-being, and stress after viewing either a 360-degree mountain environment, a 360-degree water environment, or neutral environment. Originally this study aimed to use virtual reality (VR) environments, that had been validated to produce awe. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic prevented the use of VR in the research setting. An alternative procedure, in line with COVID-19 precautions, was developed to create a similar study using 360-degree nature videos. The use of 360-degree videos was an attempt to induce at least some degree of awe. This study used a large, generalizable sample with standardized measures for replicability, and the findings were based off self-reported measures. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) were utilized to test hypotheses one, two, and three with hope, well-being, and stress being the three dependent variables. No significant differences were found among the three groups on well-being, stress, or hope. The lack of significant results indicates the need for a more immersive awe experience; the use of VR environments that have been validated to produce awe is suggested in future studies.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Awe -- Mental health
Nature -- Inspiration -- Mental health
Nature films
Virtual reality -- Mental health -- Treatment

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