The effect of an outdoor orientation program on participants’ biophilic expressions

  • Nathan W. Meltzer
  • Andrew J. BobilyaEmail author
  • W. Brad Faircloth
  • Denise Mitten
  • Resa M. Chandler
Original paper


The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of participation in an outdoor orientation program on first-year college students’ relationships with the natural world. The theory of biophilia was used as a lens through which to understand human-nature relationships. Eighty-five first-year college students on a 21-day outdoor orientation program were assessed at the trip’s beginning and end using the Kellert-Shorb Biophilic Values Indicator (KSBVI). The instrument provides a biophilic profile, a measure of how one relates to the natural world on each of nine separate subscales that collectively articulate expression of biophilic values: aesthetic, dominionistic, humanistic, moralistic, naturalistic, negativistic, scientific, symbolic and utilitarian. A repeated measures MANOVA was conducted to assess changes in the KSBVI subscales over time. Paired-sample t-tests were run to better understand the source and direction of change on the KSBVI subscale scores. These t-tests indicated statistically significant change from the pre to post scores in eight of the nine biophilic values. The KSBVI was shown to possess a level of sensitivity adequate for implementation in a pre-post design. Replication studies are recommended to further validate use of the KSBVI on adventure education programs in a pre-post format.


Biophilia Adventure education Outdoor orientation programs Kellert-Shorb Biophilic Values Indicator (KSBVI) Biophilic expression 


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Copyright information

© Outdoor Education Australia 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan W. Meltzer
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Bobilya
    • 2
    Email author
  • W. Brad Faircloth
    • 3
  • Denise Mitten
    • 4
  • Resa M. Chandler
    • 2
  1. 1.Millbrook SchoolMillbrookUSA
  2. 2.Western Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA
  3. 3.Montreat CollegeMontreatUSA
  4. 4.Prescott CollegePrescottUSA

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