Empirical studies of the relationship between aspects of the landscape and human emotions have been fruitful over the last few decades. In fact, we are awash in data that describes a correlation between natural landscapes and positive human feelings. While this plethora of data has been useful to various disciplines, it has not lead to an explanatory theory as to why and how the landscape should have this affect. This paper proposes that the discipline of evolutionary psychology provides an explanatory theory. Rather than a broad explanation, evolutionary psychology drills down on ancient problems of survival and relates those problems to contemporary behavior. Our connection to tree canopy is used as an example of this approach.
The impact of ancient tree form on modern landscape preferences
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