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Natural history museums may enhance youth's implicit connectedness with nature

Formally Refereed
Authors: Coral M. Bruni, Matthew T. Ballew, Patricia L. Winter, Allen M. Omoto
Year: 2018
Type: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source: Ecopsychology. 10(4): 280-288


The present research examines the impact of visiting natural history museums on implicit connectedness with nature among youth. FlexiTwins, a computer-based game version of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), was used to measure implicit connectedness with nature among youth visitors to two natural history museums in the Los Angeles area of Southern California. Overall, there was a marginally significant difference between pretest and posttest FlexiTwins scores. That is, implicit connectedness with nature increased after spending time in a natural history museum, although follow-up analyses revealed a significant increase at only one of the two museums. Change from pretest to posttest was not related to age, grade, gender, time spent in the museum, or number of exhibits visited. The findings have implications for understanding how different nature experiences, from remote wilderness experiences to curated nature-based experiences, can affect connectedness with nature. This type of research can inform youth-focused programs to more effectively enhance connectedness with nature.


connectedness with nature, natural history museum, curated nature based experiences, FlexiTwins, children


Bruni, Coral M.; Ballew, Matthew T.; Winter, Patricia L.; Omoto, Allen M. 2018. Natural history museums may enhance youth's implicit connectedness with nature. Ecopsychology. 10(4): 280-288.