Environmental Psychology

Environmental Psychology was founded on three central ideas at the start of the 1970s: 1) the incorporation of the physical environment into psychology—related to emerging recognition of environmental crisis—from ‘silent spring’ to urban decay; 2) the adoption of field research that would operate outside of the laboratory, the received mode in psychology, where variables can be controlled and manipulated, to embrace the messy world of the everyday complex variables of people-environment relationships; 3) interdisciplinarity as the means to include the many necessary perspectives for understanding the interactions of people and place, while embracing the policy and design disciplines that shape our environments. We seek applicants who bring the gifts of various forms of diversity to our program: intellectual, transnational, racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, linguistic, economic, experiential, immigration status and (dis)ability.

Core Areas

Individual and organizational attitudes and behaviors; critical examination of sustainability, sustainability myths.  

Participatory research, planning and building; resisting gentrification, locally unwanted land use.

Ethnographic research, theory, and policy that focuses on the relationship of public space to people and communities within the context of historical, social, political, and economic forces. Examine the processes that transform spaces into places, the conflicts that emerge over access and control of space, and the values and meanings people attach to places. Address local cultural and spatial resource problems and their evaluation, remediation, and revitalization through social policy, urban planning, management strategies, and environmentally-sensitive design. City parks, urban national parks, plazas, beaches, market areas, tourist areas, gated communities, co-operative housing, and historic preservation sites.

Everyday experiences and activities (being-in and moving-through an environment) and its links to health and well-being, social and environmental justice, and sustainability, and how such everyday experiences are mediated by various everyday technologies.