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DIVISION 4: ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

 

As a subdiscipline within applied psychology, environmental psychology is concerned both with psychological effects of the physical environment and with effects of human action on the sociophysical environment.

 

The environmental psychology division of IAAP was founded in 1982 at the Edinburgh congress (See the following documents 1 and 2) . The IAAP president Claude Levy-Leboyer and Kenneth Craik were both instrumental. Kenneth Craik was the Division president.  Subsequent presidents were Alan Hedge, Arza Churchman, Robert Bechtel, Gary Evans, Tommy Gärling,David Canter and now Robert Gifford. 


Among the major resources available to workers in the area are the following:


• Aside from the Environmental Psychology Division of the IAAP, several international organizations facilitate the activities of researchers in the multidisciplinary environment-behavior-design area. Among the more prominent of these organizations are the International Association of People-Environmental Studies (IAPS) in Europe, the Man- Environment Relations Association (MERA) in Japan, the People and Physical Environment Research Organization (PaPER) in Australia and New Zealand, and the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in North America. Within these and other such organizations environmental psychologists join with practitioners and researchers in such diverse fields as architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, geography, urban design and planning, urban forestry, ergonomics, and human factors. Other sites of interest include the Canadian Psychological Association's Section for Environmental Psychology and the American Psychological Association's Division 34: Population and Environmental Psychology.


• The major journal dedicated to disseminating research findings is the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Other journals of interest to workers in the broader environment-behavior field include Environment and Behavior, Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Architecture and Behavior, and Population and Environment  


• Still a major resource, the first Handbook of Environmental Psychology was edited by Daniel Stokols and Irwin Altman. Published in 1987 by Wiley, it is is a comprehensive overview of the field and its development through the mid-1980’s. The Handbook’s Introduction and 43 chapters cover the history and philosophical roots of environmental psychology, its topical areas and international scope, and the then-current views on the prospects for the subdiscipline. A second Handbook of Environmental Psychology was edited by Robert Bechtel and Arza Churchman and published by Wiley in 2002. It also has a broad scope of coverage, including some topics not addressed in the original handbook.


• Another means to study the development and breadth of environmental psychology is through the series of occasional chapters published in the Annual Review of Psychology. (Craik, 1973; Stokols, 1978; Russell & Ward, 1982; Holahan, 1986; Saegert & Winkel, 1990; Sundstrom, Bell, Busby, & Asmus, 1996)


• Books within the Human Behavior and Environment series issued by Plenum Press and the Environment and Behavior series issued by Cambridge University Press also indicate the scope of interests in environmental psychology and the continuity in development of theory and empirical research.