Exploring Human Nature: A Reflexive Mixed Methods Enquiry into Solo Time in the Wilderness [Hardback]

Jana Lemke (Author)

ISBN: 9789088905599 | Published by: Sidestone Press | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 280p, H257 x W182 (mm) 42bw/3fc

Other Formats

Paperback - ISBN: 9789088905582 - £ 35.00

Exploring Human Nature


Exploring human nature takes the reader deep into the human experience of being in nature. Our current ecological predicament highlights the need to change people’s nature awareness and behaviour. This pioneering mixed methods study investigates a method to do this through facilitated Solo time in the wilderness. Solo time is an ancient, ritualised and pan-cultural practice of spending time alone in nature, that has been reintroduced into our current time and culture.

The study focuses on the phenomenology of young adults’ immersive experiences in nature and the evaluation of long term impact on their personal development, their relationship with nature, community participation and ecological behaviour.

However, this work is not only about the content of research, it is also about how research is done. On a methodological level the study takes a systemic approach: it explores and integrates an expanded, interconnected worldview and methodology. In practice, this encompasses working with participants’ dreams as data and including different ways of knowing in an expanded view on validity. It also includes collecting data on the researcher’s own experience and integrating it as a parallel narrative in the thesis.

In this manner the book not only tackles the pressing issue of an increasing psychological and physical separation between humans and nature. It also calls into question how conventional research and its prevailing tendency to investigate the world in isolated pieces may contribute to the problem.

Overall, this book provides a practical example of how a systemic approach may be integrated in the research process and in academic writing. It also serves as a valuable reference point for future work on promising triggers for change and highlights powerful elements for prospective programmes focussing on individual empowerment, sustainability and nature awareness. It addresses all researchers interested in ecopsychology and experiential education but also those who are curious to explore subjectivity as part of an expanded worldview and methodology in research.

Table of Contents

List Of Tables
List Of Figures
1 Introduction
1.1 Current Situation And Problem Statement
1.2 Outlook For The Present Work
1.3 Self-Reflective Preface
2 The Human-Nature Relationship Through The Lens Of Contemporary Science
2.1 The Emotional And Social Dimension Of Human Care For Nature
2.1.1 The Influence Of Emotions
2.1.2 Coping Mechanisms And The Role Of Hope
2.1.3 The Human Disposition To Imitate
2.1.4 The Influence Of Social Norms
2.1.5 Environmental Identity And The Social Environment
2.2 The Relational And Experiential Dimension Of Human Care For Nature
2.2.1 Environmental Identity And The Experience Of Nature
2.2.2 Nature Connectedness
2.2.3 Formative Experiences In The Course Of Life
2.2.4 Transcendence And The Human Experience Of Nature
3 The Human-Nature Relationship Through The Lens Of An Expanded Worldview
3.1 A Brief History Of The Human-Nature Relationship
3.2 Expanding The Contemporary Worldview
3.2.1 A Critical Examination Of The Contemporary Worldview
3.2.2 A Brief Introduction To Deep Ecology
3.3 An Ancient Practice Revisited – Solos In Nature
3.3.1 Introduction
3.3.2 The Structure Of The Solo As A Rite Of Passage
3.3.3 Research Findings Framework Of The Solo The Experience Of Solitude Life Significance Of A Solo Experience
4 Mixed Methods Enquiry Of Immersive Experiences In Wild Nature
4.1 Overarching Aims And Objectives
4.2 Extracted Hypotheses And Research Questions
4.2.1 Quantitative Research Questions And Hypotheses Relationship With Nature Personal Value System Attitudes Towards Others And Life Empowerment Environmental Behaviour And Community Engagement
4.2.2 Qualitative Research Questions
4.2.3 Mixed Methods Research Question
4.3 Method
4.3.1 Introduction To The Mixed Methods Approach
4.3.2 The Applied Mixed Methods Approach Defining The Research Process And Design Defining The Worldview And Philosophical Assumptions Rationale For The Applied Mixed Methods Approach And Additional Applications Expansion Of The Applied Mixed Methods Approach
4.3.3 Evaluated Programmes The Butterfly Effect Programme The Solo-Only Programme
4.3.4 Sample Description And Data Collection The Butterfly Sample The Solo-Only Sample
4.3.5 Quantitative Research Strand Quantitative Outcome Measures Quantitative Data Analysis
4.3.6 Qualitative Research Strand Open-Ended Storytelling Question Qualitative Interview Approach And Procedure Qualitative Data Transcription Qualitative Data Analysis Reliability And Validity Of The Qualitative Research Strand
4.3.7 Expanding The View Of Validity
4.3.8 Self-Reflection On Different Ways Of Knowing In The Research Process
4.4 Results
4.4.1 Phenomenology And Underlying Processes Of Immersive Experiences In Wild Nature Experiencing Interconnectedness With Nature Contextualising The Experience Of Interconnectedness With Nature Perceptual State And Attitude When In Nature Psychological Effects Of The Solo Time Ritual The Underlying Process In Nature Experiences – From Attaining Self-Access To Gaining Insight The Solo Time Through The Lens Of The Phenomenology Of Consciousness Inventory (Pci)
4.4.2 Further Emergent Contributing Features And Processes Of The Butterfly Effect Programme Common Ground Role Models For The Practicability Of Change Feasibility Of Community Interconnectedness With Others Attaining Self-Access Through Others And Associated Supportive Aspects Of The Solo Ritual
4.4.3 Qualitative Evaluation Of The Long-Term Effects Of The Butterfly Effect Programme Nature-Related Changes Changes Related To Others Changes Related To Self World And Life-Related Changes Activism And Motivators For Behaviour Change Comparison Of Code Occurrences Across Samples
4.4.4 Quantitative Immediate Effects Relationship With Nature And Coping With Environmental Problems Personal Value System Attitudes Towards Others And Life Empowerment
4.4.5 Quantitative Long-Term Changes Inclusion Of Nature In Self (Ins) Proenvironmental Behaviour (Peb) Community Participation Current Contact With Nature Retrospective Overall Programme Evaluation
4.4.6 Exploring Quantitative Patterns Of Change Community Engagement Proenvironmental Behaviour Activism, Concern For The Environment And Nature Connectedness Coping With Environmental Problems Values, Beliefs And Attitudes Sense Of Community
4.4.7 The Influence Of The Control Variables
5 Intuitive Dream Enquiry
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Distilling The Objective Of The Dream Study
5.3 Method
5.3.1 Outline Of The Intersubjective-Heuristic Method
5.3.2 Sample
5.3.3 Dream Data
5.3.4 Applied Elements And Stages Of The Intersubjective-Heuristic Method The Co-Researcher Procedure Of The Focusing Session Stages Of Application
5.4 Results
5.4.1 Results Of The Intersubjective-Heuristic Enquiry Reflection On The Process And Emerged Images The Dreams In The Mirror Of The Hero’s Journey Explication Creative Synthesis
5.4.2 Results Of The Applied Thematic Analysis Common Themes Pattern Of Dream Themes Summary
5.5 Discussion
5.5.1 The Interface Between Results
5.5.2 Dreams As Data And Methodological Considerations
6 Overall Discussion
6.1 Summary And Integration Of Survey, Interview And Dream Data
6.1.1 Phenomenology Of Immersive Experiences In Wild Nature Perceptual State And Attitude In Nature The Experience Of Interconnectedness With Nature Meta-Level Process As Revealed By The Dream Study Characteristic Common Features Of The Solo Time
6.1.2 Short- And Long-Term Programme Evaluation Outcomes Nature-Related Changes Changes Related To Others Changes Related To Self World And Life-Related Changes Comparison Between Butterfly And Solo-Only Sample
6.1.3 Activism As Part Of The Long-Term Results
6.1.4 Interconnectedness And Separateness As Meta-Level Outcomes
6.2 Further Elaborations Of Selected Outcomes
6.2.1 Nature Experience
6.2.2 The Social Dimension Of Nature Experiences
6.2.3 Meaning-Making Meaning-Making And The Power Of Stories Meaning-Making And Hope
6.3 Methodological Considerations
6.4 Self-Reflection On The Research Process
7 Conclusion
7.1 Practical Implications
7.2 Closing Words
Appendix A Rules Of Transcription
Appendix B Man-Whitney Test Significance Values For Differences Between The Butterfly And Solo-Only Sample Regarding The Pci Dimensions
Appendix C Daily Butterfly Programme

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