Sunday, April 6, 2014
Definition of the Discipline
As a discipline within psychology, environmental psychology studies the interplay between the individual and his or her natural and built environment. Essentially, environmental psychology is an examination of the environment’s influence on well-being, behavior. Also, it examines the experiences of humans, and individuals’ influence on the environment; in regards to factors that influence environmental behavior and means of encouraging behavior that is pro-environmental (Steg, 2013). The research methods (questionnaire studies, laboratory experiments, simulation studies, field studies and case studies) used by environmental psychology and the important research it provides bring a comprehensive understanding of how the environment influences and affects individuals and how individuals influence and affect their environment.
Important Milestone or Influence in the Development of Environmental Psychology
As for the influence in the development of environmental psychology, there are two influences that need consideration. These two important influences in the development of environmental psychology were psychologist Egon Brunswik and Kurt Lewin. Considered as the founding fathers of environmental psychology, Brunswik and Lewin provided significant ideas regarding the study of human behaviors not in artificial environments but real-life settings and interactions between psychological processes and physical environment (Steg, 2013). However, their work is not significantly empirical by today’s standards in environmental psychology. In regards as to the reasoning behind why Brunswik and Lewin are important influences in the development of environmental psychology, it is because their combined ideas were influential for research that occurred later regarding the interactions between humans and the environment.