Environmental psychology is a disciplinary field of study that focuses on the interaction between human and the surroundings. The field describes the term environment very widely including all the natural resources on the planet as well as built environments, social settings informational environments and learning environments. When solving predicaments involving human-surrounding interactions, whether local or global, one ought to have a replica of human nature that forecasts the environmental conditions under which individuals will behave in a creative and decent manner. With such a replica one can manage, design, restore and protect surroundings that improve reasonable behavior, predict what the outcome is likely to be when these conditions are not met, and make a diagnosis of the problem situations (Clawson, 2006).
The field builds up such a replica of human nature while keeping hold of an inherently and broad multidisciplinary focus. It explores such unrelated issues as ordinary property resource organization, finding way in multifaceted settings, the consequence of environmental stress on human behavior, the distinctiveness of restorative environments the promotion of long-lasting conservation behavior and human information processing. The field identifies the need to be problem-oriented, using methods of related disciplines such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, ecology, biology, and needed theories.
Environmental Psychology uses many diverse perspective of human psychology to clarify the correlation between the behavior, experience and environment. To that end, the theories that bring about the principles of Environmental Psychology borrow from the fields of anthropology, psychology, sociology, architecture, urban planning, physiology and biology. Arousal Theories and Stimulus Load Theories are the two theories that borrow from several fields to put forward the correlation between performance and stimuli (Gidley, 1999).
Both Stimulus Load Theory and arousal theory highlight the link between the external surroundings, its internal psychological notion of the surrounding, and how this interchange has an effect on performance. Stimulus Load Theory claims that attention direction as a constraint of the limited ability of individuals to perceive stimuli as the superlative predictor of most favorable performance; whereas, Arousal theories point to intermediary levels of arousal as the most favorable situation for the increase in performance. Nevertheless, both Arousal Theories and Stimulus Load Theories agree that over-arousal or over-stimulation results to performance depreciation.
The research in environmental psychology, field experimentation, correlation studies, and laboratory experimentation, are the means of gathering facts about the surroundings and then order those facts into significant patterns so as to bring about a homeostatic equilibrium between human being and the environment. The research builds upon ongoing and early important work examining operant models as well as basic motivational hypothesis to alter ecologically disparaging behaviors. Another exciting direction for this research is integration of perception from cognitive and social psychology on decision heuristics and judgment.
Although the definitions for the field of Environmental Psychology take account of a broad meaning of environment as the physical world outside to us there is still more precise extrapolation of environment: the chemical composition, natural resources, and biological ecosystems that consist of the planet Earth. The latter definition, therefore exists a fragile interface between humans being, the dominate variety of this planet, and the surroundings in which they exist.
Clawson, J. G. (2006). Environmental psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Gidley, R. W. (1999). Theories of environmental psychology .San Francisco, CA: Josses.