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Caroline Sharp


Year of study:


How to investigate our (dis)connection with the Natural World


On a physical, chemical and biological level, there is no division between humans and the rest of the natural world. However, on a psychological level, where our bodies and environment interact to produce emotion, thought and language, we often experience a disconnection and perceive ourselves as distinct from the natural world. This shift from the biological reality of connection and interdependence to a psychological perception of disconnect has formed the foundation of many of the colonial systems that built modern western society.

This project developed and piloted the first ever context-sensitive measurement tool for the psychological construct of Nature Connectedness. The presentation will delineate the nine facets that constitute Nature Connectedness, ranging from sensory awareness of our environment, cognitive understanding of interdependence, to aversion and fear of the power and force of the natural world. We will discuss what situated measures are, and how they play a valuable role in interdisciplinary research to explore complex multidirectional relationships between individuals and their environments. We need a ‘Deep Ecological’ paradigm shift - a revaluation of our current anthropocentric relationship towards the more-than-human world. This project represents just one thread, as a contribution towards effectively addressing and investigating the psychological structures that both created the root cause of the problem and that are in turn strengthened by it.


Caroline is in her 4th year of Psychology. Her specialism is in Neuroscience, and her interests lie in the intersections between human perception and the more-than-human world. Fuelling this interest is a deep love for the natural world, and outside of university she will be found running up a hill somewhere, climbing on some rocks, or painting.

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