There are many subfields in psychology. One of the newer subfields is environmental psychology. Environmental psychology became recognized in the 1960s around the time the awareness of environmental problems occurred. This awareness helped form a greener environmental psychology (Steg, 2013).
Environmental psychology involves individuals and the environment around them. Environment in relation to this field of psychology is expanded past an individual’s natural surroundings. Environmental psychology also includes built environments, cultural groups, and social settings (American Psychological Association, 2013). Therefore, environmental psychology is the study of the individual and the environment, both built and natural. Environmental psychology examines the effect of the environment on individuals and vice versa.
In the 1960s, there was an awareness of environmental problems (Steg, 2013). This awareness brought about studies on issues such as air pollution and urban noise. These studies aided researchers in explaining negative influenced of human behavior on the environment and ultimately trying to change these influences (Steg, 2013). The topics studied expanded in the next decade. The new topics to be studied included energy supply and demand and growing technologies. In the 1980s, studies focused on conservation behaviors. These studies are valuable in learning how individuals affect the environment and brought notice to the subfield of environmental psychology.
A relatively new subfield of psychology, environmental psychology studies the relationship between individuals and environment. Early awareness and studies of the effects of individuals on environment and vice versa prompted the formation of environmental psychology.
American Psychological Association. (2013). Careers in Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx?item=2
Steg, L. (2013). Environmental psychology: An introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
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