Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa tested the idea that being in nature makes people more inclined to make sustainable choices in life. The participants in the series of experiments, conducted by psychologist John M. Zelenski and colleagues, were college undergraduates. They were first asked to watch 12 minutes of video. Some videos were nature documentaries, others about architecture.
Then the participants were asked to play a game that involved decision-making about how many fish to catch during a certain number of seasons.
The experiment, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and described in the Washington Post, revealed that participants who watched the nature video harvested fewer fish than participants who watched architecture video. Also, participants who did not watch the nature video were more likely to harvest more fish earlier on, and much more likely to “crash” their simulated fisheries through overfishing.