Nature and Life Satisfaction (03-19-20)

Chang and colleagues studied nature photos from around the world presented on social media. The team determined that “Humans may have evolved a need to connect with nature, and nature provides substantial cultural and social values to humans. . . .  We lack answers to fundamental questions: how do humans experience nature in different contexts (daily routines, fun activities, weddings, honeymoons, other celebrations, and vacations) and how do nature experiences differ across countries? We answer these questions by coupling social media and artificial intelligence using 31,534 social media photographs across 185 countries. We find that nature was more likely to appear in photographs taken during a fun activity, honeymoon, or vacation compared to photographs of daily routines. More importantly, the proportion of photographs with nature taken during fun activities is associated with national life satisfaction scores.”

Chia-chen Chang, Gweyneth Cheng, Thi Nghiem, Xiao Song, Rachel Oh, Daniel Richards, and L. Carrasco. 2020.  “Social Media, Nature, and Life Satisfaction:  Global Evidence of the Biophilia Hypothesis.”  Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 4125, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60902-w