"Environmental psychology studies the
interac6ons and rela6ons between
people and their
environments.” (Oskamp & Schultz,
1998, p. 206)
Parts of this presenta6on are adapted
from James Neill, Psychology,
University of Canberra, via his work in
open source educa6on.
• environmental social sciences
Scope • architectural psychology
Environmental psychology is also
known as, or closely related to:
• ecological psychology
• behavioural geography
• person‐environment studies
• environmental sociology
• social ecology
• environmental design
• “Ecological issues of
people's rela6onship to
their environment, both
natural and human‐made,
have assumed crucial
importance to our quality
of life, and even to the
survival capacity of
humanity.” (Oskamp &
Is it all about control?
Density = number of people per space We are less likely to feel crowded (stressed)
when we feel we have some control. The
whereas image below shows density, but not crowding.
Crowding = subjec6ve nega6ve
experiences due to density
We tend to be more afraid of
environmental risks we cannot control
than those that we (perceive) that we
Which situa6on is more dangerous?
The Gruen transfer refers to the
Human response to the moment when a consumer
enters a shopping mall, and,
We shape the environment and we are
shaped by it. surrounded by an inten6onally
confusing layout, loses track
their original inten6ons. Spa6al
awareness of their
surroundings play a key role, as
does the surrounding sound
and music. The eﬀect of the
transfer is marked by a slower
walking pace and glazed eyes.
Biophilia • Wilson, an etymologist
proposed that: humans
have an ins+nc+ve aﬃnity
with life‐like processes i.e.,
nature, due to our
• "innate tendency to focus
on life and lifelike
Gaia and systems science
Perhaps it is in the context that James
Lovelock’s idea he called the Gaia
hypothesis was taken by many at a
very spiritual level.
This ﬁlm is a liZle that way but explains
the main points of the hypothesis well.
For a more detailed discussion of
Lovelock and his work please listen to
the Radio Na6onal Science Show
interview linked on moodle.
• the living environment as a
whole has the same right to
The Gaia hypothesis is fundamentally
live and ﬂourish as humanity.
in tune with the Deep Ecology
philosophy. • asks deeper ques6ons
concerning "why" and "how"
and thus is concerned with
about the impacts of human
life as one part of the
• aims to avoid merely