UBC Undergraduate Research

Plants Promoting Happiness : The Affective Influences of Plants on Human Emotion Kamran, Manal; Kwong, Billy; Oshimi, Yuka; van der Velde, Natasha; Yao, Si Jia


Biophilia is the phenomenon that human interaction with nature can increase their positive affect. In an ever-growing world of urbanization that is dominated by man-made structures, greenery and natural elements are slowly being erased from our visual canvas. The present study sought to discover whether adding plants to the floor of an urban building, specifically the CIRS building in UBC, can arouse the effects of biophilia and increase feelings of happiness and decrease feelings of sadness within the building’s patrons. Participants of the study were asked to fill out a Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) survey under the control condition, where no plants were introduced to the interior of the building, and the plant condition, where we introduced plants to a floor of the building. The results indicated that the introduction of plants into the CIRS building did little to nothing to increase their feelings of happiness or to decrease their feelings of sadness, a finding that is inconsistent with the biophilia phenomenon and to previous research that studied its effects. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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