Not all natural environments are beneficial to our well-being

Yee Man NG

Research output: ThesisMaster's Theses


Objectives The focus of the current study was to examine whether all natural environments are beneficial to individuals’ well-being. Hypotheses It was hypothesized that the effect of exposure to habitable natural environments would improve cognitive functioning and mental health when comparing to exposure to uninhabitable natural environments. Specifically, the expected result is that participants in habitable nature group will perform better in Digit Symbol Substitution tasks, an attention task, and have more positive mood than the uninhabitable nature group. Method Participants were 129 university students (38 males, 91 females, mean age=23.9, SD=5.92). The attention and cognitive functioning of participants was measured by Digit Symbol Substitution task, while mood was assessed by Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Results Participants in uninhabitable nature group had more negative affect than the habitable nature group participants (p = .002). Participants in habitable nature group performed better in Digit Symbol Substitution tasks which might imply they had higher cognitive functioning than participants in other groups although the results did not reach a significant level (p = .098). Conclusion This study was the first to examine the impact of uninhabitable nature on human well-being and performance. It had a theoretical contribution on the study of nature exposure. The findings could also raise public awareness on environmental protection. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Social Sciences
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LAW, Wilbert 羅偉柏, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Natural environment
  • Habitable nature
  • Uninhabitable nature
  • Mood
  • Attention
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Alt. title: Dissertation: Not all natural environments are beneficial to our well-being
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (M.Soc.Sc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2018.


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