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What Is Environmental Psychology? Paper

Essay by   •  June 12, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  639 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,089 Views

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What is Environmental Psychology? Paper

Environmental psychology is defined as the interrelationship between human behavior, the social and physical environments and the experience the individual has (De Young, 1999). The interaction between human-environment, problems can be solved by having a model of human nature in which predicts how the human will behave under certain environmental conditions (De Young, 1999). The model can predict just how the individual will react if the conditions are altered just a little. With the model one can manage, protect certain environments to be able to produce a reasonable behavior (De Young, 1999). Environmental psychologists have a wide range of topics of study such as how an individual's family life or their neighborhood affects their behavior, or different environmental settings affect the individual's behavior (Psychologist World, 2012).

Theoretical Approaches to Environmental Psychology

There are many different approaches to the field of environmental psychology that explains the interaction between humans, environment, behavior and their experience (Arkkelin & Veitch, 1995). One of those theories is the attention restoration theory. Rachel and Stephen Kaplan worked off Roger Barkers theory of behavior settings (Psychologist World, 2012). Rachel and Stephen determined that when individuals were outdoor in natural environments that they were a lot calmer and had attentive behavior; unlike that of enclosed spaces (Psychologist World, 2012). Kaplan and Kaplan's studied revealed that office workers who worked inside tended to be more tense and focused with their work, but those individuals who took breaks and were able to go outside in fresh air tended to regroup and was able to calm themselves.

Stimulus load theory is another theoretical approach to environmental psychology, with this approach the individual is focused on the stimuli that is more important to their particular task. With the focus on the stimuli that is most important then performance is high, but when the stimuli that is not important for the task then performance tends to fall (Arkkelin & Veitch, 1995). When certain stimuli catches the individual of guard the individual's behavior will be altered, they may become frustrated, irritated, and lose focus on the task at hand. By losing focus the individual is not able to put their best foot forward and give their ultimate performance.

Compare and Contrast

The attention restoration theory and the stimulus load theory are both similar but yet different. Both theories in fact have proved that an individual's behavior is affected by their environment. With the attention restoration theory the individual is able to restore their behavior when they are able to change environments that are calmer and soothing, such as the great outdoors.

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