Naturally, it is indubitable that the environment we interact with coherently influence human behavior. The setting under which human beings live is a determinant of their sudden behavior. In the same light, it is not human behavior only that is influenced by the make-up of their immediate environment, animal behavior also get influenced by the environment.
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In vitro experiments that focus on providing controlled conditions may be theoretical hence offering a tentative environment that depicts an unnatural situation (Huitt & Dawson, 2011). For instance, guinea pigs are experimental animals subjected to a laboratory setting where they portray an entirely different behavior from a natural setting.
This paper seeks to put more emphasis on human interaction to their surrounding environment, as well as the observable changes elicited by this interaction. Environmental psychologists have made relentless efforts to design better management norms that can positively orchestrate quality personalities and environmental development (Gifford, 2007).
There are various theories put in place to explain environmental psychology. However, this paper tries to explain the meaning of environmental psychology with the help of two principal theories; the Learning Theory and the Motivational Theory.
On the same note, despite environmental psychology being an involving field, it encompasses an interdisciplinary scientific aspect that generally focuses on the human behavior and how they interact with their immediate environment. It is a holistic branch of psychology that embraces the organismic adaptation to their natural settings (Gifford, 2007).
Environmental psychology points out learning theory as the way people and other organism develop within a particular environmental setting thus providing an exclusive determinant of this complicated learning process. Learning generally, is a complex process that sums up different experiences or influences like emotions, cognitivism or the entire environment (Gifford, 2007).
These influences will thereby enhance an individual’s view of the immediate setting through acquiring knowledge and values. On the other hand, motivational theory seeks to hypothetically consider motivation as an object that initiates and directs behavior that is geared toward achieving a particular goal through learning (Franken, 2006).
Motivation is, therefore, intrinsically driven by an individual’s interest to a given task rather than giving pressure to the individual either through strict supervision of performance. As opposed to learning theory, where by one may be subjected to a painful process of knowledge acquisition in order to achieve a set standard or goal. This could be though punishments to reinforce behavior, a process known as operant conditioning (Gifford, 2007).
Although learning may be deemed to be focusing on the purposes of a mare behavior and the speculated values of behavior, it is distinguished from motivation which allows one to compete inadvertently in level platform where they are encouraged to perform and emerge victorious especially in a context.
This motivation emanates from the environmental influence thus may not be an inbuilt motivation. For example, the provision of reward inform of trophies for a victory. This is known as an extrinsic motivation (Franken, 2006).
It is also essential to acknowledge the values that encompass the process of learning. For instance, the attribute that enables one to develop skills that aid in providing alternative solutions to arising problems within an environmental setting (Huitt & Dawson, 2011).
Consequently, another value in the learning process within an environmental setting is the fact that it helps in conceptualizing and interpreting the observations made. It is rather fundamental to note that these values only confer an individual to pernicious variables that will help in providing a solution (Franken, 2006).
The paradigm of laboratory illustrations and experiments in environmental psychology has been disputed by a number of environmental psychologists who consider research findings from this kind of research as a tentative blue print that may not apply in a natural, environmental setting.
The research is viewed as skewed and impractical in an attempt to invigorate the relationship between the human behavior and the immediate, natural environment. As a result of these disparities, research in this field is equally valuable as in other socio-scientific field. Since it is a new field in psychology, research in the same helps to incorporate the significant findings in the interdisciplinary field of psychology (Huitt & Dawson, 2011).
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Recurrent aspects of research in this field are pertinent in providing a positive perception of environmental psychology. For instance, the cognitive maps as well as perception of people in the built environment help in nurturing this field. When the images are registered to the minds of people, they give a spatial networks referred to as cognitive maps (Huitt & Dawson, 2011).
Thus, they are able to correlate their perception of the natural environment and their emotions and ideas. An environmental preference among different personalities is another critical element in embracing the research outcomes of the same. This kind of research helps environmental psychologists to accurately determine the specific niches preferred by most people.
It also focuses on the fact that many individuals will always seek environments that they deem confident and able to be attached to. Research in this field has, therefore, played an important role in restoring psychosocial skills in order to inherently come up with a society that is environmentally sustainable (Gifford, 2007).
Concisely, environmental psychology is an multifaceted field that cannot be in any way described with regards to one theory. Conventionally, this relatively broad brand of psychology concentrate on the role that the environment play in determining human and animal behavior.
Franken, R. (2006). Human motivation (6th Ed.). Florence, KY: Wadsworth.
Gifford, R. (2007). Environmental Psychology: Principles and Practice (4th Ed.). Colville, WA: Optimal Books.
Huitt, W. & Dawson, C. (2011, April). “Social development: Why it is important and how to impact it.” Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/papers/socdev.pdf