Environmental psychology

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Environmental psychology can mean one of two related things:

1) An interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humans and their surroundings. By various researchers, this has also been termed environmental social sciences, architectural psychology, socio-architecture, ecological psychology, ecopsychology, behavioral geography, environment-behavior studies, person-environment studies, environmental sociology, social ecology, and environmental design research.

2) The relationship between people's psychology, and their behavior in terms of sustainability.[1][verification needed] This is a more fringe use, and choosing another term would be desirable.

The first definition is an important field of study for good design of the built environment and urban planning.

The second definition is essential for planning any campaign or other action to promote sustainability.


A study/case study found that a sign encouraging recycling had a dramatically different effect depending on the wording. "Please recycle" of had a modest effect - some people recycled, but many didn't. "We recycle" resulted in a much greater proportion of recycling.[verification needed]


  1. The first is Wikipedia's definition, but I believe it's used in the other sense too. --Chriswaterguy.

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