The relationship between the conception of nature and environmental valuation

Yamane Nagao, Ayano Nishikori, Tomoko Imoto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    As individuals’ relationships with nature become more diverse, so do their conceptions of nature. In this study, the image of nature and derived feelings are defined as the conception of nature. This study aimed to identify the conceptions of nature held by individuals and their influence on environmental valuation. The number of respondents who imagined natural forests when they heard the word “nature” was the highest (58%), followed by those who imagined Satoyama (31%). The factor analysis extracted five feelings toward the image of nature: care, oneness, aversion, mystery, and restorativeness. These feelings differed depending on the image of nature conjured up by individuals. Respondents who imagined natural forests and Satoyama had a higher sense of care, causing higher willingness-to-pay for forest conservation. These results revealed that the image of nature differed from person to person, contrary to previous studies where nature was regarded as predominantly represented by vegetation. Feelings for the image of nature also differed. It can be concluded that an individuals’ conception of nature influences their environmental valuation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number12683
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1


    • Conception of nature
    • Feeling toward nature
    • Image of nature
    • Willingness-to-pay

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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