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Environmental Psychology Essay

831 words - 4 pages

IntroductionFinding its origins in architectural psychology, environmental psychology is concerned with the relationship between human beings and their surroundings. In a campaign to improve mental hospitals nearly fifty years ago, architects turned to psychologists for help with understanding the cognitive and social behaviors of human beings and their relation to the way a building was structured around them. As this relationship between architects and psychologists progressed to other fields such as park designs, color coordination and furniture arrangement, the field of environmental psychology was born.What is Environmental PsychologyEnvironmental psychology is quite simply the ...view middle of the document...

A person will behave very differently if he or she is working in a factory as compared to visiting his or her mother-in-law's house (Baker, 1968). Gibson made the same argument, writing that in order to fully understand behavior, a study of the environment where the behavior took place is necessary.Another theoretical approach, called the phenomenological approach, attempts to place the occurrence of any phenomenon in environmental psychological study as an event that stands in its own right, unaffected by previous theories or assumptions. The ground rule for the phenomenological approach in psychological study was established in the mid 1970s: "Take the phenomenon simply as it is given, even if it appears unusual, unexpected, illogical, absurd, or contrary to unquestioned assumptions and familiar trains of thought. Let the things speak for themselves…but question and distrust…prepositions and conceptions" (Metzger, 1975). This approach relies on looking at the relationship between humans and their environment through a narrow lens, "forgetting" all previous learning in order focus directly on the phenomenon at hand.The theoretical approach called ecopsychology aims to add naturalist, human-to-nature connections to the study of the relationship between humans and their environment. Ecopsychologists could attempt to study the effects of working outdoors as opposed to indoors as a way to boost mental processes because of the connection between the mind and nature. Ecopsychology also aims to incorporate how members of a culture are able to connect themselves to nature and their environment in order to build...

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