Study: Time in nature, disconnected from electronics increases creativity

Posted at 3:47 PM, Dec 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-12 17:47:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Disconnecting from electronic devices and spending time in nature is linked to increased creativity, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and the University of Kansas.

The study involved 56 people, 30 men and 26 women. They spent four to six days in the wilderness, hiking in Alaska, Colorado, Maine and Washington state. No electronic devices were allowed on the trip.

Participants took a creativity test before departing and again on the fourth day of the hiking trip.

The results showed people who had been backpacking four days scored on average two points higher on a creativity test than people who had not yet begun the trip.

“This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” said David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah, in a press release.

Strayer said the study provides a rationale for trying to understand what is a healthy way to interact in the world and that taking a hike in nature may elevate the costs of sitting in front of a computer all day.

However, researchers noted the study was not designed to determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology, or a combination of the two.

Learn more about the study from: Research from the U – Nature Nurtures Creativity