Open-Source Psychometrics Project
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Documentation and correlations reference for the Nature Relatedness Scale (NR-6)

This page serves as reference for the results page of the interactive version of the survey on this website. Individuals interested in using the NR-6 for research should see Nisbet and Zelenski (2013).

Also, the dataset that has been derived from it is explored a little bit.

Population comparison

There does not seem to by any definitive norm or population reference for the scale. It is natural to use the sample of people who have taken the online test, but this is often misleading due "survey topic participation bias". This will be used, but to contextualize it a search for papers that have used the NR-6 and reported means and standard deviations was done, and the usable data is found in the table below. The search was limited to samples where the people were mostly native English speakers.

Reference Sample n Mean SD
Nisbet and Zelenski, 2013 CA Psychology undergraduates 184 3.00 0.86
Richardson et al., 2018 UK undergraduates 310 3.565 0.915
Rainham et al., 2019 CA Psychology undergraduates 147 3.25 0.9
Richardson and Sheffield, 2019 UK undergraduates 95 3.365 0.897
Niigaaniin and MacNeill, 2022 Indigenous Canadian people 717 3.68
Robertson, 2023 Ohio seniors 59 2.75 0.551
Ruffell and Gandy et al., 2023 Ayahuasca retreat attendees 24 4.10 0.64

Taking a weighted average gives us a (very-rough) estimate as of 3.31 for the population mean and 0.86 as the population standard deviation. In a sample of 2255 users of this website who took the NR-6 between 2018 and 2024 the mean was 4.08 and the standard deviation was 0.83. A difference here was expected.

These two distributions are shown on the graph below. The curve for the website users is exact, but the curve for the population distribution had to be reconstructed from the mean and SD by assuming a normal distribution.

Findings in the literature

It is interesting to look at the few of the research findings that have used to the NR-6 to better understand what it measures.

Scores have found to be positively correlated with overall subjective well-being (Nisbet et al., 2010) and lower levels of state and trait anxiety (Martyn & Brymer, 2014). Some claim there is evidence that it is a fundamental human psychological need (Baxter & Pelletier, 2019).

A topic that has seen some interest is what can change scores. Scores were seen to increase after people visited an amazon jungle Ayahuasca retreat (Ruffell & Gandy et al., 2023). Though a weakness of that study was that the effect could have been either the drugs or the jungle settings. Other studies have looked closely at psychedelics and found users of psilocybin but not of other drugs in the same class with different psychopharmacology such as LSD or ketamine had greater nature relatedness (Forstmann, 2023). In a different direction entirely, playing a virtual-reality game where the user embodied a tree did not increase nature relatedness scores (Spangenberger, 2022).

And it seems like nature relatedness can set behavioral choices. NR scores could predict the purchasing of so called "green products" (Aruta, 2022).