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Environmental Psychology 2011

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Maarten Jacobs

on 20 March 2012

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Transcript of Environmental Psychology 2011

ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY introduction to environmental psychology what is environmental psychology? Environment Psychology environmental psychology studies interactions between people and environment at the level of the individual mind social science
studying individual level
study of behavior and mind is
not: psychiatry is a branch of medicine

of all psychologists, only clinical psychologists are engaged in therapy psychology is: landscape experience and preferences hierarchy of methods:
1 case study
2 correlational
3 experimental landscape, nature, environment, wildlife
built environment,
interior, place, garden these objects/environments are studied by other disciplines (geology, soil sciences, hydrology, ecology, rural sociology, resource economy, etc.) as well, so what's distinctive about environmental psychology? multiple meanings of landscape (environment/nature) Does EP not study the truth?
Yes, but the truth about mind, not about landscape See Chapter 2 in: Jacobs, MH (2006) The production of mindscapes: A comprehensive theory of landscape experience. Wageningen: Wageningen University Environmental psychology is a relatively young (sub)discipline

Term coined in 1964
First handbook in 1974: Proshansky, Ittleson, Rivlin
Born from psychology, roots in geography and architecture as well Today, two professional organisations that organize conferences:
EDRA (Environmental Design Research Assosication)
IAPS (International Organisation for People-environment Studies

Primary Journals:
Journal of Environmental Psychology
Environment and Behavior
Landscape and Urban Planning basics of perception outline of this course characteristics of environmental psychology See chapter 1 in: Bell, PA, Greene, TC, Fischer, JD, Baum, AB (1996) Environmental Psychology. Fort Worth etc: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. 1 Real life situations 2 Two directions 3 Problem-oriented Effect of environment on humans Effect of humans on enviroment 4 Variety of methods

experimental Generic psychology uses seperate stimuli, EP studies naturalistic environments perception is the experience of the outer world in a meaningful way Conclusion:

We do not see the world as it is, but we organize stimuli by assigning meaning

See sections 9.2 and 9.3 in: Jacobs, MH (2006) The production of mindscapes. Wageningen: Wageningen University
(note: mental concepts is equivalent to meanings) proximity columns rows similarity closure surroundedness Gestalt theory:
Laws that describe how we tend to see stimuli as a whole Week 1 Introduction and landscape perception
Week 2 Nature, health, and well being - Agnes van den Berg
Week 3 Images of nature and environmental attitudes
Week 4 Human dimensions of wildlife
Week 5 Sense of place
Week 6 Consequences and summary Exam: 21 April - study all lectures and all literature
Activities: reading, attending lectures, in-class research

Contact: maarten.jacobs@wur.nl visual quality assessment expert-approach problem! experiential qualities of the landscape are increasingly important in western societies as societies become more affluent ... ... landscapes change rapidly ... AND ALSO ... people have more financial and psychological freedom to care for non-subsistance issues, such as aesthetics and identity. policy makers, planners and architects strive for aesthetically appealing landscapes Berlyne Kaplan & Kaplan Appleton Expert judgments, however, may not be reflective of the public. E.g. polder landscapes often indicated as special by landscape architects, but also by tourism industry: most frequent landscape picture in tourist brochures But not liked by foreign tourists at all Solution: empirical research into landscape experience and preferences Question: which landscapes are experienced as beautiful? However, blind empirical research is nuts Theory is needed to guide systematic research Variety of theories has been developed Images of nature sense of place adapative approach today Adaptive approaches:
address relations between physical properties of landscapes and preferences
assume preferences are partly innate
emphasize commonalities in preferences Arousal theory - Berlyne Preference matrix - Kaplan & Kaplan Prospect refuge theory - Appleton Berlyne's arousal theory is a general theory of aesthetics.

Early environmental psychologists have adopted this theory as a framework for their research. hedoniv value arousal level Two primary concepts:
hedonic value landscapes that evoke an optimal arousal level have a high hedonic value and are therefore preferred These are according to theorists:
fairly complex landscapes
faily mysterious landscapes
i.e. optimum between order and chaos We need knowledge in order to survive in an environment.

Hence, we prefer landscapes that enable us to gather knowlegde. Which landscapes? We prefer landscapes that are:
Mysterious low arousal high arousal coherent and complex coherent but not complex legible and mysterious legible but not mysterious landscape = habitat humans are predators and prey, hence, seeing without being seen is optimal. We prefer landscapes with prospect and refuge opportunities. prospect and refuge prospect but no refure refuge but no prospect Possible criticism on both arousal theory and preference matrix:
Relies on evolution theory, but is not very compatible with evolution theory
Evolution theory predicts that we are genetically predisposed to like things that enhanced survival of ancestors Hence: keep it simple:

We like those landscapes that enhance survival 1 landscapes with water (needed to survive)
2 landscapes with vegetation (food and shelter)
3 landscapes with prospect refuge opportunities Reading:
Sections 4.1 - 4.5 in Production of mindscapes
Chapter 3 pp. 37 - 46 in Bell et al. Review questions:
What is a core assumption behind the adaptive approach to landscape preferences?
Name three landscape preference theories that fall within the adaptive approach, as well as the psychologists who developed these theories
Can you explain the arousal theory as applied to landscape preference?
Can you explain the preference matrix?
Can you explain the prospect refuge theory?
Do you think the view that landscape preferences are partly innate makes sense? Please provide arguments for your view.
How could the insights obtained by the adaptive approach be useful for piolicy makers, planners, designers and managers? images of nature history of human-nature relationships part of nature nature as enemy mastery over nature now? "woeste gronden" (wild domains) or "te ontginnen gronden" (domains to be colonised)
becomes "nature"on maps meanwhile:
nature conservation profession is changing extinction rates 1000 times higher experts
public informed management prehistoric times, before the advent of agriculture 10.000 years ago:
the advent of agriculture
in Middle east (probably currently Iraq) After Middle Ages:
Scientific and technological advancements
Nature is measured and explored
Nature is concurred Growing consensus that mastery comes to an end, e.g.:
climate change
natural disasters
human induced disasters increasing urban affluent population
not worried about sustenance needs
no daily contact with nature
concerned about belonging and aesthetic needs divergence changing relationships with nature development of new nature unprecedented in history cf. postmodern society enter: Images of nature research aim: to identify people's views on nature practical benefits:
inform managers and policy makers about the public
explain differences and conflicts what are images of nature? mental phenomena
consisting of meanings assigned to nature
that are relatively stable
and influenced by culture research field characterized by: theoretical and conceptual diversity
multi methods (semi-stuctured interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, content analysis)
however, some convergence in results images of nature approach 1: Keulartz et al. Images of nature comprise 3 components 1 cognitive component:
What is real nature? 2 normative component:
How should we manage nature? 3 expressive component:
What is beautiful nature? images of nature approach 2: Buijs image of nature cognitive normative definition of nature beliefs about nature values value orientations Continuum from untouched to man-made Continuum from hands off to intensive management Continuum from wild to well-kept Criticism Empirical research is so-so Focused on policy, not so much on the public Expressive dimension is operationalized in a pretty weird way bottom-up approach
no expressive dimension
studying actual people consequences Study:
Buijs, A.E. (2008). Lay people's images of nature. Society and Natural Resources, 22, 417-432. what are the effects of images of nature? what can policy makers, planners, designers do with images of nature? Relationships between images and ethnicity:
native Dutch adhere more often to wilderness image than immigrants
1st generation immigrants adhere more to wilderness image than 2nd generation Relationships between images and demographics:
Highly educated adhere more to wilderness image than lowly educated
Males adhere more to functional image, females more to inclusive image Relationships between images and landscape preferences:
Those with wilderness image prefer natural landscapes over managed landscapes (functional and inclusive not)
Those with inclusive image like all landscapes better than those with wilderness of functional image As future designers, planners, and policy makers, what do you think? environmental attitudes and behaviour context theory and measurement: TOP changing behaviour anthropocene = current geological epoch

Mankind has a central role in ecology and geology trends in society Most experts agree that, ultimately, human behaviour has te change, in order to reduce environmental impact environmental consequences are often: collective global Therefore, a need to understand environmental behaviour (what people do) and enviromental attitudes (what people think) ATTITUDE = mental disposition to favour or disfavour an object/person/situation/event with some degree Attitude is the most frequently employed concept in social psychology, also used a lot in environmental psychology Attitudes:
are evaluative in nature
are believed to precede intention or behaviour
are important for deliberate and voluntary behaviours Most famous attitude theory: Theory
Planned Behavior TOP Icek Ajzen (http://people.umass.edu/aizen/) environmental attitudes Attitude towards an object is formed on the basis of a person's beliefs about that object Steps for measuring attitudes:
1 determine attitude object
2 elicit relevant beliefs
3 questionnaire and data collection
4 data analysis 1 determining attitude object Is oftentimes more difficult than people think 2 eliciting relevant beliefs semi-structured interviews "What do you see as the advantages of creating room for rivers?"
"What do you see as the disadvantages of creating room for rivers?"
"How much do you agree or disagree with creating room for rivers?" 3 questionnaire Select the salient modal beliefs
Measure belief strength and evaluation 4 data analysis strength * evaluation for each item

add all scores to calculated attitude various operationalizations and measurements, no standard has emerged yet New
Paradigm Dunlap & van Liere Value
Norm theory Stern Environmental attitudes:
Mental disposition to favour-disfavour pro-environmental behaviour Values Beliefs Norms Behaviours Environmental values:
Egoistic Ecological worldview
(equivalent to value orientations):
NEP Awareness of consequences:
Knowing negative consequences of behaviours on environment Ascription of responsibility:
belief that one's actions have influence on the environment Proenvironmental norms:
Feeling of obligation to behave in environmentally friendly way Proenvironmental behaviour:
Public sphere nonactivism
Private sphere
In organizations Very general
(no context) Very specific
(context) VBN Not relevant In 1970s, new ideas about environment and ecology began to boil down from conservation and scientific communities to general public New Environmental Paradigm refers to this new worldview that places emphasis on environment Scales for questionnaires consists of 12/15 items, e.g.:
Humans are severely abusing the environment
Plants and animals have as much right as humans to exist NEP doesn't predict behaviour very well
(this was never the intention) Despite criticism,
it seems safe to say that humans have a severe and often negative influence on the environment Paul Stern (2000) Toward a theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 3, 407-424 Approaches to behavioural change 1 Moral appeal:
try to act on values Con: Values are often pretty resistent to change 2 Education: try to change attitudes Con: Many agents influence one's attitudes 3 Rewards and penalties: try to change behavior 4 Community management: influence collective norms Con: Behavior is guided by many external factors Con: Often hard to achieve Factors that influence behaviours:
Habits Principles for behavioural change:
use multiple approaches
understand the actors
try to act upon groups
adopt joint decision making Have environmental attitudes changed over time? Trends:
Proenvironmental trend 1960s-1990s
Stabilization or slight decline since While some are disappointed and skeptic, specific things have changed Also, proenviromental behaviour is not only a matter of psychology:
Availability of alternatives Human dimensions of wildlife part 1: cognitions Roles of animals in our lives Social issues theory: cognitive hierarchy Wildlife value orientations Predictive value Wildlife Value Orientation Domination Mutualism Appropriate Use Beliefs Humans should manage fish and wildlife populations so that humans benefit.
The needs of humans should take priority over fish and wildlife protection.
It is acceptable for people to kill wildlife if they think it poses a threat to their life.
It is acceptable for people to kill wildlife if they think it poses a threat to their property.
It is acceptable to use fish and wildlife in research even if it may harm or kill some animals.
Fish and wildlife are on earth primarily for people to use. Hunting Beliefs We should strive for a world where there's an abundance of fish and wildlife for hunting and fishing.
Hunting is cruel and inhumane to the animals.
Hunting does not respect the lives of animals.
People who want to hunt should be provided the opportunity to do so. Social Affiliation Beliefs Caring Beliefs We should strive for a world where humans and fish and wildlife can live side by side without fear.
I view all living things as part of one big family.
Animals should have rights similar to the rights of humans.
Wildlife are like my family and I want to protect them. I care about animals as much as I do other people.
It would be more rewarding to me to help animals rather than people.
I take great comfort in the relationships I have with animals.
I feel a strong emotional bond with animals.
I value the sense of companionship I receive from animals. Estimated between 100 and 200 million international arrivals in 1994
This segment is increasing drastically
Wildlife is a primary attraction in many countries, especially developing countries
Even the most remote areas are opened up for wildlife tourists Wildlife tourism Humans have kept pets as companion animals for millennia
63% of US citizens are pet owners; 400 million pets in US
Pets are associated with health benefits pets There are thousands of zoos in the world
There are millions of zoo visitors
There are billions of euro’s involved
(and a lot of design issues) zoos TV documentaries about animals are very popular
TV-channel “Animal Planet” is broadcasted in many countries Mass media Animals contribute greatly to satisfaction of visiting local nature
Managers of parks facilitate animals and opportunities to view animals Leisure near home Solving social issues:
Management To conclude, humans have special bonds with animals the primary scientific question: WHY? Strong oppositions for potential solutions to these problems E.g.:
About 50% finds killing problem geese acceptable
About 50% finds killing problem geese unacceptable E.g.: wolves are endangered species E.g.: connecting Oostvaardersplassen with Veluwe E.g.: building a dike for herbivores to hide for wind E.g.: shooting weak herbivores to prevent suffering Thus: A need to understand human thought and reasoning about wildlife, in order to find acceptable solutions and devise successful communication Two basic categories of mental dispositions:

1 Cognitions (today)
2 Emotions (Thursday) Values Value orientations Attitudes Intentions Behaviours Numerous
Faster to change
Specific to situations Few
Slow to change
Transcend situations Cognitions:
Mental dispositions that are used in perceiving, remembering, thinking, and understanding Cognitions exits on different levels of abstraction:

"World consists of matter" is more abstract then "This tree is an oak" Attitudes: mental dispositions to respond favorably or unfavorably to an object or event.
E.g.: Attitudes towards killing geese that damage agriculture by professional managers in Wageningen in Spring 2011 Values: desirable end states, modes of conduct, or qualities of life that we individually or collectively find important E.g. honesty, freedom, respect
Values have no object
Someone's basic values don't change much
Socialization during formative years is crucial
Don't explain much variability
Don't dictate behaviour Wildlife value orientations: schematic networks of basic beliefs that give direction and meaning to fundamental values in the domain of wildlife 2 Primary wildlife value orientations:
1 Mutualism
2 Domination Example Value Value orientation Attitude Behaviour freedom freedom animals are free to walk around humans are free to consume animals anti-hunting pro-hunting joining party for animal rally joining hunting association person A person B Consequences The concept of wildlife value orientations is scientifically and practically interesting if it predicts specific thought WVO's are found to predict (up to 50%):
behaviours (e.g. hunting, fishing)
intentions (e.g. anticipated wildife viewing)
norms (e.g. accepting lethal control)
attitudes (e.g. favouring reintroduction of wolves in Rocky Mountains in Colorado Similarities with previous concepts Mutualism-Domination continuum seems equivalent to: functional to wilderness images of nature anthropocentric to biocentric environmental values change Studies suggest societal change towards mutualism as societies: Are more urbanized Are higher educated Are wealthier E.g. questionnaire measures:
Acceptance of management actions
Different animals
Different levels of problem situations
Different levels of severity of actions Study:
Jacobs et al. (2011)
Human Dimensions of Wildlife Human dimensions of wildlife part 2: emotions Components of emotions Physiological reactions
Bodily reactions
Behavioural tendencies
Emotion experiences Emotions are pervasive and form an important basis for human mental and behavioural functioning E.g.
It is highly unlikely you will continue contemplating a maths problem if a lion scares you Importance of emotions Components Working of emotions Emotions towards wildlife Normally, we stop whatever we're doing during an emotion and attend to the emotion and its cause Emotions guide:
action tendencies
perception why is that? Emotions have emerged in the course of evolution as adaptations scared of lion avoidance survival This only works if emotions take over control! E.g. Snakes are quickly detected, and even quicker by people with snake phobia Emotions form the basis for attraction to wildlife, wildlife related activities, and conflicts over wildife Thus, if we are to understand and explain human responses to and thought about wildlife, we must understand emotions Physiological responses, e.g:
increased heart beat
adrenaline release Bodily reactions, e.g:
facial expressions
erection of body hair
making big or small Behavioural tendencies, e.g:
fight or flight
freeze core affects:
1 valence
2 arousal general working of emotions is applicable to many domains of research, e.g. landscape preferences, bonds with nature, human wildlife interactions Study:
Jacobs (2009) Why do we like or dislike animals? Emotional experiences discrete feelings,
e.g. sad, happy, angry emotionally laden thought Sense of Place relevance of the concept of sense of place theoretical approaches measurement and findings consequences Ultimately, spatial planning and design boil down to local interventions Even large scale planning is effective only if resulting in local interventions Since spatial planning/design ultimately changes local places it affects people: behaviours
opportunities and constraints
daily experiences Dwellers
Representatives of professional organisations (e.g. nature conservation agencies) Spatial planning/design is a form of social planning Sense of place comes into play e.g. opposing or accepting an intervention Definition Are definitions important?

1 Yes: we must know what we're talking about

2 No: Ultimately, measurement counts Connotative definition

(Analytical definition is typically the end result of years of research) E.g. Lightning is the light you see when you hear thunder

Lightning is caused by electrical discharge of the air onto the earth, resulting in bright flashes of light. Simple and liberal connotative definition:
Sense of place is the total set of meanings a person assigns to a place In the literature, lots of different more restrictive definitions can be found E.g.1:
Sense of place is restricted to those having first hand experiences of places for a long time E.g.11:
Sense of place must be constituted by emotional bonds My advice:
Don't get involved in pseudo-debates about definitions E.g. if accepting restriction 1: one has to invent a new term to denote somebody's sense of the Mount Everest, and one has not solved any substantial issue at all. "Mysterians":
Sense of place is a holistic concept that varies with person, culture, place and context.
Therefore, sense of place can not be broken down analytically. In my view, this reasoning is nonsense Compare:
Every human body is one whole and unique
Hence, a physiology of humans is impossible Planners and architects who do not take sense of place into account are producing landscapes for places without people Sense of the wilderness
Sense of gas stations
Sense of Wageningen
Sense of De Veluwe Others have tried to identify patterns Key features exitential outsider to existential insider (Relph) Level of attachment (Shamai) Deductive components Attachment (emotional bond)
Dependence (behavioural bond)
Identification (self-definition)
(Stedman and Jorgensen) Inductive categories:
identifying primary place meaning categories on the basis of an open approach Sense of place as part of bigger picture personal identity social identity sense of place place meanings beliefs about intervention attitudes towards intervention questionnaire Stedman and Jorgensen have operationalized sense of place into three sets of items Confirmatory factor analysis reveals validity of these components Semi structured interviews: Problems: insensitive to revealing other components
items without substantial content Jacobs and Buijs have created a semi-structured interview measurement instrument Place meanings:
What does this place mean to you?
How would you characterize this place?
How important do you regard this place for yourself?
What activities do you perform at this place?
What are your favorite characteristics of thisplace?
Are you satisfied with this place?
Do you experience any problems with respect to this place?
Do you feel connected to this place? 5 primary place meaning categories: functionality
risk Spatial interventions that bypass senses of place of stakeholders are increasingly likely to fail Differences in sense of place are an important source of conflict over places How to deal with non-residents? MORE? Study:
Jacobs & Buijs (2011) Place meanings
Williams & Stewart (1998) Sense of place culture and development Today's focus:
1 development
2 culture How do we get from a virtually blank mind to a mind loaded with cognitions and emotions related to the enviroment? How does culture influence human-environment interactions and how do groups differ? nested
questions Children and the development of human-environment relationships Newborn babies are absolutely egocentric TOM = Theory Of Mind Almost everything we know and can is learned Hardly any seperation between me and environment Environment is something out there, to be fully employed to one's own satisfaction Environment is populated with animated things, and experienced and enacted upon by others as well Environment extends beyond the directly experienced These innate preferences may exist in the sensomotor stage; innate emotions towads animals as well transformation from active to passive Implications e.g. 1 You can't create enviromental attitudes in young children
e.g. 2 Sense of place gets increasingly complex and changes in nature over the years Savannah landscapes prefered by young children; gradually, own landscape gets prefered Culture Cultural influence at different levels Global level: technological and economic circumstances National level: value structures in cultures Institutional level:
Laws and customs within subcultures
(e.g. farmers - ecologists) Inglehart Hofstede
Schwartz Group level:
shared meanings and attitudes Study:
Buijs et al (2009) No wilderness for immigrants Measures:
1 Images of nature
2 Landscape preferences
Immigrants and non-immigrants overview exam preparation Study for exam:
1 all lectures
2 literature Bell et al. (1996) Environmental Psychology, chapter 1, sections 1 and 2 (Why study environmental psychology and what is environmental psychology)
Bell et al. (1996) Environmental Psychology, chapter 2
Jacobs (2006) Production of mindscapes, chapters 2 and 3
Hartig et al. (2010) Health benefits of nature
Buijs (2008) Lay people's images of nature
Stern (2000) Theory of environmental behavior
Jacobs et al. (2011) Human dimensions of wildlife
Jacobs (2009) Why do we like or dislike animals
Jacobs & Buijs (2011) Place meanings and attitudes
Williams & Stewart (1998) Sense of place
Buijs et al. (2009) Images of nature among immigrants exam format open ended questions
4 or 5 subjects
4 questions per subject factual question
question about theory or concept
question to use knowledge straightforwardly to explain something
question to explain something that can be explained by creative thinking, even if you don't know the specific material E.g. Who formulated the preference matrix? E.g. Name three predictors of landscape preference according to the preference matrix E.g. According to the adaptive approach, humans have innate landscape preferences. Why do we have innate preferences? E.g. In recent debates concerning livestock in the Netherlands, many people indicate they would like to see more cows in meadows, instead of in stables. Why could people like to see cows in meadows? pencil and paper exam
answer boxes
give short and specific answers ? And:
Nature and health, restoration, and children by Agnes van den Berg Nature and health various studies indicate that nature has a positive influence on mental and physical health thanks for your attention and good luck with the exam
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