Sunday, April 6, 2014

Can the individual influence their environment?

          Yes, an individual can influence his or her environment. An individual and their environment interact in a dynamic way and are related in a reciprocal way (Steg, 2013). Therefore, the dynamic and reciprocal relationship between an individual and their environment is that one enables the environment to influence an individual and enables an individual to influence their environment. The actions or behaviors of the environment influence an individual and the actions or behaviors of an individual influence their environment. An individual has the ability to influence the environment, that is, to influence environmental behavior by encouraging pro-environmental behavior (Steg, 2013). In regards to pro-environmental behavior, this is a means to influence positive behaviors in the environment to protect or improve it by minimizing negative impacts as the results of the actions of individuals. For instance, a pro-environmental behavior such as recycling is less expensive, creates less waste, and is healthier for the environment and has a beneficial environmental impact. However, not recycling can cause damage to the environment and in turn can cause harm to an individual and decrease that individual's well-being. Actions deemed as pro-environmental behavior influence the environment and in turn can influence the well-being of an individual.
Steg, L. (2013). Environmental psychology: An introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

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