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Academic Publication

Connection to Nature

December 16, 2022

Contributors: Holli-Anne Passmore & John Zelenski

People’s subjective sense of connection with nature has been consistently associated with other traditional well-being indicators (e.g., positive emotions, flourishing) and even more strongly associated with pro-environmental orientations. The construct provides a useful and timely nexus between human well-being and planetary health. The Global Well-Being Initiative has dramatically expanded the reach of this potential by assessing nature connection globally and thus for the first time in dozens of nations. We present some preliminary results from this effort that show the places where subjective nature connection is stronger or weaker across planet Earth, noting some similarities and differences with previous (more limited) cross-national comparisons. We also show how nature connection is linked to other indicators of well-being included in the Gallup World Poll, and with an eye towards variation in the strength of these links across different nations. Together, results support the notion that nature connection can be usefully assessed across many nations, while also prompting some new thoughts about the ideal way to make that assessment. Additionally, the new data suggests that nature connection captures a kind of well-being that complements traditional indicators, i.e., positively associated but certainly not redundant. Further thought, data, and analyses have strong potential to translate global patterns into insights about the sources and consequences of strong human-nature connections.

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