Marine Biota and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Examination of Dose-Response Effects in an Aquarium Setting.
Environment and Behavior
© 2015 SAGE Publications. CC BY NC
Exposure to natural environments can have calming and stress-reducing effects on humans. Moreover, previous studies suggest that these benefits may be greater in areas with higher species richness. Our study took advantage of a "natural experiment" to examine people's behavioral, physiological, and psychological reactions to increases in levels of marine biota in a large aquarium exhibit during three stages of restocking: Unstocked, Partially stocked, and Fully stocked. We found that increased biota levels were associated with longer spontaneous viewing of the exhibit, greater reductions in heart rate, greater increases in self-reported mood, and higher interest. We suggest that higher biota levels, even in managed settings, may be associated with important well-being and health benefits, particularly for individuals not able to access the natural analogues of managed environments.
This research was conducted as part of the first author’s PhD, funded by National Aquarium Limited (NAL).
This is the final version of the article. Available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 48, Iss. 10, pp. 1242 - 1269
Place of publication