Science Proves Spending Time in Nature Makes You Less of a Jerk

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Twilight at Spirit Island

Twilight at Spirit Island

Sometimes, you’re a bigger jerk than other times. And now, science can prove it.

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley proved that spending time in nature makes you trust people more, makes you a more giving person, and makes you more likely to help others.

In the recent study, participants shown beautiful scenes of nature before playing the Dictator Game and the Trust Game were much more generous and trusting than those who were not shown the same scenes.

Subjects then sat at tables full of plants as they filled out forms discussing their emotions — some sat at a table with beautiful plants while others sat at a table with less attractive plants — then they were all told that was the end of the experiment.

Except it wasn’t.

All participants were given the opportunity to volunteer in a relief effort by making origami cranes for Japan. Researchers measured the number of origami cranes that were made — or not made — to measure how willing people were to help others.

And guess what? The people who sat at the table full of beautiful plants made a lot more origami cranes than those who sat at a table with less attractive plants.

So next time you’re feeling like an A hole, take a walk and instead of looking at cars and buildings and sidewalks, pay attention to the sky and the birds and the trees and the flowers. Especially the pretty ones.