Environmental Psychology – a branch of psychology

Environmental Psychology – a branch of psychology

Environmental psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the interrelationship between humans and their physical, social, and natural environments. It investigates the ways in which the natural and built environments shape us as individuals. It seeks to understand how individuals interact with and are affected by their surroundings, and how the environment influences their behavior, attitudes, and well-being.

Environmental psychology focuses on how humans influence the environment as well as how the environment influences human experiences and behaviors. The term environment is used broadly in the field, encompassing natural environments, social settings, built environments, learning environments, and informational environments. According to an article on APA Psychnet, environmental psychology is when a person makes a plan, travels to a specific location, and then executes the plan throughout their behavior.

Environmental psychology encompasses a wide range of topics, including the design of buildings and cities, the impact of environmental stressors on health and well-being, the effects of environmental degradation on mental health, the role of nature in promoting restoration and resilience, and the psychology of sustainability and environmental behavior.

Research in environmental psychology draws on a variety of methods and theories from psychology, sociology, anthropology, architecture, and environmental science. It has practical applications in fields such as urban planning, architecture, public health, environmental policy, and sustainability.

It is a relatively new subfield of psychology, but it is not a novel concept. People are well aware that they can find solace in nature. In a crowded city, we may feel energized, excited, or even intimidated. In our personal space, home, or community, we may experience a strong sense of well-being and peace. Winston Churchill famously said, “We shape our buildings; they shape us.” This has only become more true as we’ve continued to build the world around us to better suit our needs and desires.

Some of the key theories and concepts in environmental psychology include environmental stressors, environmental identity, place attachment, and environmental attitudes and behaviors. Environmental psychologists often work in interdisciplinary teams with architects, urban planners, engineers, and other professionals to develop more sustainable and user-friendly environments.

Overall, environmental psychology seeks to promote a more sustainable and healthy relationship between humans and their environment and to help individuals and communities thrive in a changing world.