Measuring the multiple, deep, and unfolding aspects of the wilderness experience using the experience sampling method
Borrie, William T.
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This study of the wilderness visitors to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia sought to better define the dimensions of the lived wilderness experience, and the modes in which it is experienced; to understand the dynamics of the wilderness experience and how the wilderness experience changes across time; and to examine the relationship between the wilderness experience and ideal leisure. Because of people's apparent difficulty in accurately reporting experiences after the visit, the Experience Sampling Method was the primary data collection procedure. Six aspects of the wilderness experience were identified, inspired by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, AIdo Leopold, Sigurd Olson, and other wilderness writers: oneness, primitiveness, humility, timelessness, solitude, and care. Five modes of experiencing the wilderness were developed based on the work of environmental psychology and leisure scholars: focus on self (introspection), focus on others (socialness), focus on task (task orientation), focus on emotions (emotional intensity), and focus on environment (environmental sensitivity). Confirmatory factor analysis, principal component analysis and reliability analyses were carried out to assess the stability and meaningfulness of the scales used to operationalize these dimensions.
- Doctoral Dissertations