Biennial Report of Activities of Division 4: Environmental Psychology


Tommy Gärling, Ph.D. Division President

Professor of Psychology


1. Appointment/election of officers to the Executive Board


We have implemented an adequate election procedure. Anticipating the need to elect new division officers for the coming term, Terry Hartig and I stimulated discussion among the members of the IAAP executive committee regarding acceptable procedures for division elections. We now have guidelines to follow in the future (you can see them at the IAAP website).


Having concluded the election according to the guidelines, for the first time the division has a complete complement of division officers, consisting of the president (David Canter), the president-elect (Robert Gifford), the past-president (myself), the secretary and newsletter editor (Terry Hartig), and the treasurer (Einar Strumse).



2. Information Dissemination


The executive committee (Terry Hartig, Einar Strumse and myself) has been engaged in several activities to increase the division´s visibility, communication with members, and communication with some other organizations. We now have an excellent home page ( that I believe not only division members but also many others benefit from. For this to materialize, Mathias Gustafsson has throughout the term assisted us in a very skillful and reliable way. We greatly appreciate his efforts. With Terry and Einar, I have published in the IAAP Newsletter a series of editorials on topics concerning relations between environmental psychology and other areas of scientific and applied activity. You can find these editorials posted on the division home page, together with comments that we solicited from colleagues. We are grateful to Karen Cronick, Gary Evans, Robert Gifford, Gabriel Moser, Henk Staats, David Uzzell, Charles Vlek, and Ge Wu for their commentaries.


There are several other organizations that count as members environment psychologists. These are the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in North America, the International Association of People and their Surroundings (IAPS), Man-Environment Relations Association (MERA) in Japan, and People and Physical Environment Research (PAPER) in Australia. All of these are interdisciplinary and a majority of their members come from disciplines other than psychology. The division therefore fulfills a valuable function in providing a closer connection to the mother discipline. It is also the case that economic psychologists, health psychologists, social psychologists, and traffic psychologists may want to be associated with the division, although not with any of the other organizations. Still, increasing contacts with these other organizations is desirable. Terry and I organized a division-sponsored symposium at the IAPS conference in Paris, and David Uzzell, the current president of IAPS, was asked to organize a symposium at the ICAP2002 (unfortunately cancelled). Many division members also attended the IUPS Congress in Stockholm in the Summer of 2000, and we took the occasion to organize a division meeting.


Through contacts with David Canter, the former editor of Journal of Environmental Psychology (JEP) and the next division president, we have made JEP the home journal of the division. After negotiations with representatives of Academic Press, division members are now offered subscriptions to JEP at discount rates. Furthermore, through the executive committee, policy suggestions can be made to the new journal editor, Robert Gifford (who in the capacity of president-elect also will be a member of the division executive committee).






Although JEP has been and will continue to be the flagship journal, we have consistently encouraged division members to publish more in the official IAAP journal, Applied Psychology: An International Review. This has resulted in several papers being accepted for publication.



3. Membership Recruitment


By updating membership registers and matching them against people we know are active in the field, we have tried to contribute our share of membership recruitment by contacting non-members. In addition, we have encouraged members of other divisions (e.g., health psychology, the psychology of traffic and transportation, economic psychology) to also register for the environmental psychology division. Unfortunately, we have not been able to actually record the outcome of our efforts.



4. ICAP2002 Program


The past president Gary Evans has acted as the chair of the program committee for the ICAP2002 conference. Other committee members have been Mirilia Bonnes, Gabriel Mosel, and myself. The keynote speaker will be president-elect Robert Gifford. Invited speakers include Birgitta Berglund (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Barbara Tversky (Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA). Invited symposia include Gary Evans (Cornell University, Ithaca, USA): Environmental and developmental psychology; Anders Biel (Göteborg University, Sweden) and John Thøgersen (Aarhus School of Business, Denmark) (cosponsored with the Economic Psychology division): Promoting cooperation in resource dilemmas; Terry Hartig (Uppsala University, Sweden) (cosponsored with the Health Psychology division): New views on restoration and restorative environments; Florian Kaiser (Eindhoven Technical University, The Netherlands) (cosponsored with the Psychological Assessment division): Conservation behavior: Perspectives, promoters, and approaches to its measurement; and Osamu Iwata (University of Tokushima, Japan): Approaches to proenvironmental behavior. Two additional symposia, 4 oral sessions, and one poster session have been scheduled.