NEW US research has found that children might not have an inherent love of nature like we think they do, but a preference for a natural environment appears to develop over time.

Carried out by researchers at the University of Chicago, the new study recruited 167 adults and 239 children aged four to 11, and asked them to rank photos of urban and natural environments which were all similar in their visual appeal.

The findings, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, showed that surprisingly, children showed a strong preference for urban environments, whereas the adults preferred the photos of natural environments.

However, the preferences for urban environments were significantly lower among older children. The researchers say the findings suggest a preference for natural environments may not be inherent at a young age, although an affinity for mature may be develop gradually as we grow older.

''We hypothesized that the kids would prefer nature because adults overwhelmingly do,'' said Kim Lewis Meidenbauer, lead author of the study. ''We were incredibly surprised to find evidence to the contrary.''

The team also found that the children preferences were linked to their home, school or play environments and how much time they spent in nature. Kids also didn't need to have a preference for nature in order for it to be good for them.

''Our study also find evidence for the cognitive benefits of nature exposure in kids and it was entirely unrelated to to preference,'' Medienbauer said. ''This is important because it really suggests that kids don't need to like nature in order for it to be good for them.'' [Agencies]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!