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Well-being, Reasonableness, and the Natural Environment
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Short Title: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2011/11/01/
Pages: 304 - 321
Sources ID: 87436
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)
This Special Section features a number of perspectives on the vital role played by natural environments. The three empirical papers, using different approaches and measures, representing diverse populations in different countries, and different kinds of natural settings, all provide evidence for the importance of nature to human well-being. This paper presents the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) as a framework for understanding how the environment can help bring out the best in people. Demographic and regional variations notwithstanding, people are empowered by opportunities to make a difference and be respected, they are concerned with being effective, and their efforts are guided by their mental models. Having nature nearby, even if modest in scale, can be particularly beneficial in offsetting some of the consequences of depleted attentional resources which readily undermine reasonable behavior. We focus on some important distinctions between psychological restoration (and its relationship to the effectiveness domain of RPM) and environmental preference (and its connection to RPM's model building domain). Today's all too pervasive unreasonableness is costly in terms of personal and social well-being. Understanding the vital capacity of the natural environment can make a substantial difference in bringing out the best in people.