Document Type

Honors Paper


Anne Devlin

Publication Date



This research explored the role of place on emotions and behaviors through 2 studies. After establishing the significant role place has on emotions and behavior in Experiment 1, Experiment 2 was conducted to help understand the environmental influences on pro-environmental and pro-social intentions and on donative behavior. In the first experiment, donative behavior was explored following prompts that asked participants to reflect on a nostalgic place, nostalgic event, ordinary place, ordinary event, or favorite place. The first experiment also investigated how feelings of place attachment and nostalgia compare on established functions of nostalgia, including positive affect, self-regard, social-connectedness, and meaning in life. Participants included 253 individuals, 155 females and 97 males (1 not specified), recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants who reflected on an ordinary event had significantly lower levels of the 4 functions of nostalgia than did participants who reflected on a favorite place (p <.001), nostalgic place (p = .008), or nostalgic event (p = .003). The effects favorite places have on nostalgic functions may suggest that place attachment provides functions similar to those afforded by nostalgia. It was hypothesized that the nostalgic groups would allocate the most money to charity, however this was not supported. Members of the group who recalled a favorite place gave the most to charity, and the amount donated was significantly different from the nostalgic event (p = .007) and ordinary event conditions (p = .009). Interestingly, the amount donated by the favorite place group was significantly different from the amounts given by members of both event groups, but not by members of the other two place groups, suggesting the significant role of place on donative behavior. The second experiment explored different environmental influences on pro-environmental behavioral intentions, pro-social behavioral intentions, and donative behavior. Participants were assigned to 1 of 5 environmental conditions: threatened nature, nature, urban, childhood home, or no environment. Participants included 252 individuals, 138 females and 114 males, recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. It was hypothesized that participants in the nature and threatened nature conditions would have the highest pro-environmental intentions and allocate the most money to charity, due to the effects nature has on pro-sociality, empathy, and giving. There were no significant differences between pro-social behavioral intentions or money donated in each condition. However, participants immersed in threatened environments had the highest pro-environmental intentions, and their scores were significantly different from those immersed in urban settings (p = .030). Additional findings, limitations, and implications for future research are discussed.

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Psychology Commons



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.