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This paper describes a cross-cultural research project on the relation between how people conceptualize nature (their mental models) and how they act in it. Mental models of nature differ dramatically among and within populations living in the same area and engaged in more or less the same activities. This has novel implications for environmental decision making and management, including dealing with commons problems. Our research also offers a distinct perspective on models of culture, and adoi:10.1037/0033-295x.112.4.744 pmid:16262467 fatcat:wpxcof5yvbhjva6rnptnlabiva