Education Article #8: For the Joy of Sharing

Psychology and Environment

By Khushi Goel
Law Student, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, IP University, Delhi, India

Foreword by Venkat
A pass or a shot in the game of soccer can never be exclusively termed as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for the simple reason that it all depends on the real time situation and no situation is identical (in all its variables) between games. Life runs likewise. The awareness of and alignment to our real time situation (which includes people and environment) determines if a given action is right or wrong. All the published literature, philosophies and bodies of knowledge will provide little benefit without one’s personal effort to become better aware of the context and the real time situation to apply the knowledge and principles learnt. The gamut of published knowledge can only provide the triggers and levers to bridge our gap in our awareness and alignment to the context.

One such wonderful work of research is in the area of relationships between psychology and the environment. This lovely overview in the words of Khushi, presents the extent of research work done on the same with some great insights. It is not surprising that the structures and physical characteristics of our surroundings influence our mood, mind and the psychological wellbeing. To be able to use scientific means to assess the determining factors and the extent of impact is inspirational and of practical value not only for humans but also for the environment and natural resources as well.

To gain some amazing insights on the influence of environment on our psychological health and vice-versa, this article gives a good understanding of the theory and findings.

I am Khushi Goel, a first year law student from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, IP University. My inclination towards law and psychology began when I started thinking over things with curiosity. The curiosity to know each and everything and to do something for my society. My love serving to the society, in future would like to become a civil servant. I love to read books and to watch thriller movies or web-series.

Psychology and Environment

Different Perspective and Affect on People by Environment: Theory

Introduction 

Psychology describes the study of human behaviour and its action related in terms of its stimuli (i.e. environment). It not only describes the internal disturbances and psychopathology but has a wide variant of path in one discipline. Similarly, psychology in terms of environment describes its effect on individuals. Now, from here the first question arises: What is the environment? It is a myth that the environment is just the climate but it includes everything which surrounds us. However, it is different from Ecology, which describes only the study of the relationship between human beings and the environment. It describes that the environment and people are interdependent on each other. Just like fruits coming from trees and trees depending on water from us. This article will focus on psychology and how it is related to the environment. 

About Environment 

In simple words, the environment is something that includes everything which is in our surroundings. It can be distinguished as a natural environment and built environment. Natural environment describes the climate or weather in our surrounding and which can not be touched by any one. Whereas, the built environment is opposite, it is something which could be touched and it is manufactured by humans. Both the environments are experienced after manipulating and using the natural resources. Additionally, the manufacturing includes psychological attributes, creativity, managing and understanding resources.

Different Perspectives 

The environment and its protection is recognized in terms of different perspectives. This perspective was explained by Stokols, a famous psychologist who describes the relation of psychology and stimuli.

1. Instrumentalist perspective: It is one of the perspectives that describes the person who  believes that the environment has been created for our use only and the prospective people are the only ones who deplete the resources.

2. Minimalist perspective: It describes that the person and environment works in parallel manner and has less connection.

3. Spiritual perspective: It describes the Indian culture, that means the environment has good relation with god and that it should be protected and respected.

Affect on People by Environment: Theory

Now, the most important question arises, how people get affected by the environment?  According to this theory of psychology and environment, the person who is living in circular rooms is more likely to easily examine the geometric shapes because they operate in a manner of measurements unlike a person who is living in an angular wall room. Further, the article explains about this interesting theory based on the below 

  1. Positive and Negative Environment:  The environment has two types. It could be positive i.e. rills, chirping of birds, wet grass, etc. that directly lifts our mood and reduces the stress and anxiety level. And the other one is that a negative environment has noise in the environment that affects our mood and our body.  
  2. Attitude and Lifestyle: Attitude is generally the beliefs that we set for the situations and stimuli which contain emotional and behavioral components for the stimuli. Similarly, if we live in different life circumstances, we form different attitudes, living styles and behave in certain social interactions.
    For example:- families living in an agricultural environment, they develop the attitude of hardworking, unity and cooperativeness among different members of the society. Similarly, the environment affects our mode of action, the environment directly or indirectly affects our mood and behaviour. We humans create different objects for our purpose only but we are not aware of the consequences that this does not only damage biologically or physically but also cause psychological problems. These problems could be understood in terms of mood and loss of attention and focus. It is interesting to know that climate change affects our mode of action and behaviour and there is psychology behind it. There are environmental stressors, like Noise, Pollution, Crowding, Natural disasters which cause mood degradation and reduce life span. 
  1. Noise: The unpleasant sound which is annoying and irritating. The noise can cause problems like: hearing loss, less mental activity, concentration loss. The noise has three characteristics that affect task performance. The first one is controllability, some task in which it needs full mental activity in which we should have control over the noise and the number of errors decreases. The second one is intensity, the noise intensity depends on the sound base whether it is loud or soft. That allows the person to adapt to the environment and make fewer errors. The last and the third one is predictability, the noise which is unpredictable leads to loss of attention and irritability with the loss of sleep and attention. 
  2. Pollution: The environment in which we are living is also being degraded by polluting it. Polluting the environment has a psychological impact on every individual life as according to the most famous research, where it has been found that people who are working in the industrial pollution such as methyl-isocyanate (MIC) gas, are  found to have an aggressive behaviour, lack of sleep, loss of attention. Therefore, MIC causes loss in memory, attention and focus. In addition, the soil and water polluted areas also affects our behaviour and affects our psychological behaviour.
  3. Crowding: In this environment, which is highly crowded, it largely affects the mood as in wedding parties and fairs, all these events where the large people get all together.  Increases social interaction but at the same time it will cause loss of private space that eventually leads to violent or aggressive behaviour of an individual. Generally the people who want personal space and maintain an 8 inches space are called “close proximity people”.
  4. Natural Disasters:  Natural Disasters can lead to psychopathological disorder, that is, PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; where the person gets shocked with the disaster and loss of someone close to them. The symptoms are- Physical reactions, Emotional reaction and Cognitive reaction. In all these, an individual feels depressed and loses interest in the activities. However, these could be improved or solved through rehabilitation with occupational therapy. In this therapy, the individual is provided with different activities which need focus and this allows them to retain the focus with the development of new interests and skills. And helps in rescheduling their activity and work. Nowadays, technology has advanced enough that we are able to predict disasters.

Conclusion 

Environment psychology is easy to understand and it’s essential to become responsive to different stimuli. It helps a psychologist or a counsellor to understand the relation of an individual’s behaviour and its stimuli and it makes them  identify the psychopathology easily. The study of the environment makes people deal with focus problems and enhance their activity practice. This helps in social organization as well as to work upon the affective environment and to make people aware of the same. 

 Reference : 

  1. Courtney E. Ackerman, “What is Environmental Psychology”, 20th June 2022 Accessible at :
    What is Environmental Psychology? – PositivePsychology.com
  2. Kaplan, Rachel and Stephen. “The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective.” 1989.
  3. Psychology and Environment: Meaning, Types and Experiments” by Shivangi.
    Relative Importance of Heredity and Environment | Psychology (psychologydiscussion.net)
  4. Blog by Psychology Today, Accessible at : Environment | Psychology Today

By Khushi Goel
Law Student, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, IP University, Delhi, India

VOTE FOR THE ARTICLE

Education Articles: Archives


Your Contributions Are Welcome
Don’t Wait. Send Your Article / Snippet / Poem / Book Review Right Away!


Wish to be a Guest
Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Student
Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Snippet
Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Poet?

Read The Scope
Wish to be a Book
Reviewer?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Culture Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Wellness
Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be a Business
Author?
Read The Scope
Wish to be an Education
Author?
Read The Scope


5 1 vote
Post Ratings
guest
Post Rating

1 Comment / Question
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rajdeep Singh
Rajdeep Singh
July 15, 2022 1:43 pm

Wonderful writeup khushi. Appreciated