Honors College Thesis


An Exploration of the Relationship between Direct, Tactile Contact with Nature in the Workplace and Consequent Creative Performance Public Deposited

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  • An understanding of creativity’s emergence is critical as our society faces new challenges. Despite a growing body of research emphasizing nature’s influence on the creative process, we now spend record amounts of time indoors, disconnected from nature. Biophilic design has been afforded as a panacea, with research supporting the incorporation of nature elements on increased creative performance. However, this has largely focused on visual cues. We designed an experiment to test whether direct, tactile contact with nature in the workplace increases creative performance. Building on previous literature surrounding grounding showing support for health outcomes, but little investigation surrounding creative performance, undergraduate participants were asked to construct a hypothetical marketing campaign while subject to one of three conditions: shoes off, feet in grass; shoes off, feet in no grass; or, simply, shoes on. Creativity was evaluated across the quality, originality and elegance dimensions. No significant difference was found in the means of quality (t(59) = -1.10, p = 0.28), originality (t(59) = -0.76, p = 0.45), and elegance (t(59) = -1.07, p = 0.29) between feet in grass and no feet in grass conditions, but this work lays the ground for an area ripe for future investigation.
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