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Forskningsartikel2024Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Wildlife and the restorative potential of natural settings

Johansson, Maria; Flykt, Anders; Frank, Jens; Hartig, Terry


How does the likelihood of encountering wildlife affect residents' expectations about psychological restoration when visiting a local natural setting, and their choices among settings for future recreation? Do urban and rural residents differ in such expectations and choices? We addressed these questions in a web-based experiment with 223 adult residents randomly sampled from urban and rural areas in each of three regions in Sweden. Residents in all six areas can encounter fear-irrelevant wildlife (roe deer, squirrel) near the home, but the presence of fearrelevant wildlife (wolf, wild boar) differs across the areas. The respondents read scenarios concerning encounters with each of these four animals during recreational visits to a nearby natural setting. The scenarios varied in how frequently the person could expect to encounter each animal across visits (never, sometimes, often). For all 12 scenarios, respondents answered questions about anticipated experiences and restoration outcomes, and the effect of encounter likelihood on future recreational setting choices. Across all areas, with all outcomes, increased likelihood of encounters with the wolves and wild boar detracted from anticipated restorative potential, whereas increased likelihood of encounters with roe deer and squirrel enhanced anticipated restorative potential. A similar pattern showed in recreational setting choices. A domination wildlife value orientation moderated the effects of encounter likelihood for wolf and wild boar, whereas a mutualistic orientation moderated the effects of encounter likelihood for squirrel and roe deer. Our results suggest that wildlife management and public health practice could work together not only to address the fears of residents, but also to enhance the restorative quality of local natural settings by protecting wildlife.


Attention restoration; Public health; Recreation motives; Stress recovery; Wildlife management

Publicerad i

Journal of Environmental Psychology
2024, Volym: 94, artikelnummer: 102233

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Vilt- och fiskeförvaltning
    Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)

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