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Wilson environment

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  • 1. How Environmental Psychology can enrich your Psychology classes Dr. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges Chair, Psychology Department UW-Green Bay
  • 2. 5 Principles of Environmental Psychology
    • Capable of improving the physical environment (applied)
    • Carried out in everyday settings
    • Considers person and setting as a holistic entity – social ecology
    • Recognizes that people actively cope with and shape settings rather than just absorb them
    • Interdisciplinary
  • 3. The Restorative Effects of Nature
  • 4. Consequences of Indoor Lifestyles
    • Insomnia and chronic fatigue
    • Depression – S.A.D.
    • Bone disorders
    • Fertility Problems, PMS, Irregular cycles
    • Obesity and other food related illnesses
    • Increase cancer risk
    • Stress
  • 5. Research and Theory: Restorative Environments
    • Nature has been shown to provide opportunities for renewal of cognitive resources and psycho-physiological response capabilities.
  • 6. People perceive nature as restorative and prefer natural environments
    • Recent nationwide survey (Frerichs, 2004) showed 95% believe that a visit to nature relieves stress.
    • Motives for recreating outdoors include stress reduction, clearing the head, escape from civilization, and reflection on the important things in life.
    • People perceive nature as more beautiful and prefer it to the built environment.
  • 7. Nature is Restorative
    • More than 20 recent studies have concluded that exposure to nature (either passive viewing or active entry) is restorative
    • Attention Restoration Theory (ART) (e.g., Bagot, 2004; Berto, 2005; Lepore & Evans, 1996)
      • Directed attention fatigue = decreased concentration, increased irritability and stress
      • Nature restores by holding attention effortlessly (evolutionary history) and having high compatibility
    • Psycho-physiological stress recovery (Hartig, et. al., 2003)
      • After attention fatigue, nature (both brief views and walking) restores blood pressure to normal levels
  • 8.  
  • 9. Stress, Health and Restoration
    • Ulrich’s (1984) surgical patient study found patients with a view of nature:
      • required less pain meds
      • were hospitalized 1 day less on average
      • received fewer negative evaluations from the nursing staff.
    • Replicated with pictures of nature
    • versus abstract art
  • 10. Benefits of Residential Green Space
    • Ineffective stress recovery may undermine physical health
    • Urbanites without exposure to nature may display more symptoms of chronic stress.
    • Residents with abundant green space close and somewhat close (1-3 km) to home report fewer health problems (Maas, 2006).
    • Presence of green space promotes exercise, social contacts, better air quality and less noise.
  • 11.