Title

From oh to aha: Characteristics and types of environmental epiphany experiences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2018

Abstract

Despite the anecdotal evidence of experiences that shift the self–nature relationship, which we identify as Environmental Epiphanies, little is known about the characteristics and patterns of such experiences. In this study, we build on previous theoretical and conceptual frameworks of the Environmental Epiphany concept and report descriptive and typological findings based on in-depth interviews with 50 participants who had experienced Environmental Epiphanies. We present common characteristics of these experiences as well as descriptive information across five types of Environmental Epiphanies: Aesthetic, Intellectual, Realization, Awakening, and Connectedness. Based on our findings, we offer many areas for further exploration of this phenomenon as a psychological function as well as some recommendations for land managers, educators, and other environmental practitioners. Expanding our knowledge of how human–nature relationships function has implications regarding environmental decision-making, the role of emotions in self–nature relationships, and environmentally responsible behavior.

DOI

10.22459/HER.24.01.2018.08

Publication Title

Human Ecology Review

Volume Number

24

Issue Number

1

First Page

155

Last Page

179

ISSN

10744827

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