Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Afraid of the Outdoors?

New article from Scientific American looks at the question.
The conservationists believe that the electronic world has supplanted the natural world as the leading diversion. Their statistical analysis shows that the increase in video games, movie rentals and other electronic entertainment most closely matches the decrease in camping and park visits, as opposed to income, vacation time, park overcrowding, foreign travel or other potential causes.

Pergams and Zaradic plan to tackle the fear issue next. "If fear is a factor, what kinds of fear?" Pergams asks. "Fear of the unknown, fear of animals, fear of getting lost, fear of crime, fear of disease, all kinds of different fears that might come into play and to what extent they might play into the decline." In addition, they hope to compare the results of children's exposure to "virtual" nature online or on television with the real thing.