Chapter

Environmental Psychology Overview

In book: Green Organizations: Driving Change with IO Psychology., Chapter: Environmnetal psychology overview, Publisher: Routledge, Editors: Ann H. Huffman & Stephanie Klein, pp.17-33

ABSTRACT Environmental psychology is a field of study that examines the interrelationship between environments and human affect, cognition, and behavior (Bechtel & Churchman, 2002; Gifford , 2007; Stokols & Altman ,1987). The field has always been concerned with both built and natural environments with early research emphasizing the former (Stokols, 1995; Sundstrom, Bell, Busby, & Aasmus, 1996). However, as environmental sustainability issues became of greater concern to society in general, and the social sciences in particular, the field increased its focus on how humans affect, and are affected by, natural environments. The goals of this chapter are to introduce environmental psychology, explain how it emerged from the study of human-environment interactions and note how it has redefined what we mean by both the terms nature and environment. Special note is made of humans as information-processing creatures and the implications this has for encouraging reasonable behavior under trying environmental circumstances (e.g., climate disruption, energy descent). Finally, two pragmatic approaches to bringing out the best in people are presented.

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May 16, 2014