Environmental psychology focuses on the interaction between human beings and their surroundings. The study aims at finding out what makes individuals comfortable and how settings can be adjusted to enhance quality of life and reduce stress. We all react to our environmental surroundings knowingly or unwillingly (Gifford, 2007).
Traffic congestion is an ecological stressor which hampers ones movement between two or more points. Studies have shown that constant exposure to traffic congestion has effects on the mood, task performance and physiology of automobile commuters. Reports of annoyance have been recorded in individuals who commute for long hours to and from work (Gifford, 2007).Also associated with commuting time, number of months on route and commuting distance is rise in blood pressure. Urban commuters spend a significant number of their time in traffic congestions. This means that the traffic environment highly exerts negative effects on their lives. Rush hours are potential stress-givers due to imposing delays and provoking hostility within an individual. Impaired road performance as well as behavioral and emotional insufficiency when one arrives at home or work, are also results of emotional driving (Gifford, 2007).
The way to reduce traffic congestion or its effects is by coming up with a model of human nature. This model would predict an environmental situation under which people would behave in a creative and civilized manner (Gifford, 2007). Such a model can manage, protect, design and restore environments that improve human behavior. It can also be used to foretell what the likely result would be if these conditions are not met. Such a model would therefore give solution such as community interventions required so as to ease air pollution and energy consumption on the roads.
Gifford, R. (2007). Youth, Children and Environments. New York: John Wiley & Sons