Document Type

Research Paper


Nature and the environment are terms that people do not think about everyday. We learned three important points from this project. We learned that nature and the environment are two very exclusive entities. Nature is usually deemed as good and provides enjoyment while the environment includes issues that are bad, requires attention, restoration, and, preservation. ''Capstone" students whom are usually classified as seniors and "Introduction to Psychology" students whom are usually classified as freshman seem to have very diverse responses to the questions we asked them. Many "Capstone" students view nature as a process while many ''Introduction to Psychology" students view nature as a place. Overall "Introduction to psychology" students seem to view people being separate from nature where a lot of seniors state that people are a part of nature. Freshmen tended to favor the thought that nature exists on a continuum, in which there are different levels of nature from the least to most natural. Many seniors rejected this idea and feel that everything and everywhere is a part of nature. "Capstone" students see there being more serious environmental problems than ''Introductory to psychology" students and are more pessimistic about solutions. In addition, seniors show different depths of knowledge where they have some of the same views as "Introduction to Psychology" students but also more aware views. Another dissimilarity between the freshmen and senior students we interviewed is that they differ in the actions they feel individuals, the government, and society as a whole should take in order to correct environmental issues that America faces. Lastly, one of the interesting things we learned is that the difference of insight between "Capstone" students and " Introduction to Psychology" students do not reveal to be course specific. Classes such as "Capstone" may provide important facts for students but it is not the sole reason for divergence among these students as we once thought. Possibilities for this difference in views consist of, more time to develop firm opinions, personal adoption of family values, and diffused knowledge gained in the college environment.

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Journal Title

Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference





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©2001 by the University of Northern Iowa



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University of Northern Iowa


Cedar Falls, IA