Envionmental Psychology

Shape Your Environment for Happiness!


What is Environmental Psychology?

By Jeanette Joy Fisher

Although it's an involved field, the field of environmental psychology can be best summarized as an interdisciplinary science that focuses on the interplay between human beings and their surrounding environment, both at the micro or macro levels.

The science of environmental psychology encompasses a number of areas, including such disciplines as architectural and ecological psychology, environmental design and sociology, and social ecology. In order to be effective, a practitioner of environmental psychology will commonly draw information from a number of other areas, such as anthropology, architecture, political science, psychology, and urban planning and design.

The overall purpose of environmental psychology is to help various design professionals (such as architects, interior designers, and urban planners) work together to improve the overall human environment, both at the personal living space level (micro level) and at the larger, all-encompassing level (macro level).

At the micro, or personal level, the principles of environmental psychology can be quite effective in making people's homes feel more livable and in providing them with a sense of well being while in the home on a daily basis. At the larger, or macro, level, environmental psychology is useful for making entire communities and cities not only function more effectively, but also for making common spaces more inviting. Environmental psychology techniques can be employed to make public areas more aesthetically pleasing to the residents of cities, as well. For instance, many urban areas have begun installing artwork in public places for all their citizens to enjoy.

At a personal level, a working knowledge of environmental psychology can be used to great advantage when it comes to selling one's home more quickly and at a higher price. When a homeowner is familiar with environmental psychology techniques and understands what makes a home aesthetically pleasing, they can use that information to "stage" their home before putting it on the market, thus making it considerably more appealing to potential buyers, even if the effects of environmental psychology are too subtle to be recognized at a conscious level.

As more is learned about the scientific basis of environment psychology, its concepts and techniques will become increasingly more important to society. Whether it's at the individual level, in our homes, or on a city wide scale, through the use of well-designed and aesthetically pleasing public spaces, environmental psychology will continue to play an ever more crucial role in improving the overall quality of human life as time goes by.

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