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Environmental Psychology: An Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-119-94219-1
256 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Environmental Psychology: An Introduction (1119942195) cover image


Environmental Psychology: An Introduction offers a research-based introduction to the psychological relationship between humans and their built and natural environments and discusses how sustainable environments can be created to the benefit of both people and nature

  • Explores the environment's effects on human wellbeing and behaviour, factors influencing environmental behaviour and ways of encouraging pro-environmental action
  • Provides a state-of-the-art overview of recent developments in environmental psychology, with an emphasis on sustainability as a unifying principle for theory, research and interventions
  • While focusing primarily on Europe and North America, also discusses environmental psychology in non-Western and developing countries
  • Responds to a growing interest in the contribution of environmental psychologists to understanding and solving environmental problems and promoting the effects of environmental conditions on health and wellbeing


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Table of Contents

1 Environmental psychology: History, scope and methods 1


2 Environmental risk perception 15

3 Environmental stress 27

4 Scenic beauty: Visual landscape assessment and human landscape perception 37

5 Health benefits of nature 47

6 Restorative environments 57

7 Ambivalence towards nature and natural landscapes 67

8 Human dimensions of wildlife 77

9 Appraisals of built environments and approaches to building design that promote well-being and healthy behaviour 87

10 Urban environmental quality 97

11 Environment and quality of life 107

12 How cues in the environment affect normative behaviour 119


13 Measuring environmental behaviour 131

14 Values and pro-environmental behaviour 141

15 Social norms and pro-environmental behaviour 153

16 Affective and symbolic aspects of environmental behaviour 165

17 Social dilemmas: Motivational, individual and structural aspects influencing cooperation 175

18 Models to explain environmental behaviour 185

19 Yesterday's habits preventing change for tomorrow? The influence of automaticity on environmental behaviour 197

20 Environmental psychology in Latin America 211


21 Informational strategies to promote pro-environmental behaviour: Changing knowledge, awareness and attitudes 223

22 Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour with rewards and penalties 233

23 Persuasive technology to promote pro-environmental behaviour 243

24 Acceptability of environmental policies 255

25 Processes of change 267

26 Simulating social environmental systems 281

27 Environmental issues in developing countries 293

28 Conclusion: Summary, trends and future perspectives in environmental psychology 303

References 315

Glossary 355

Index 371

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Author Information

Linda Steg is professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She has written extensively on factors influencing environmental behaviour, effects and acceptability of environmental policies, and the impact of environmental conditions on quality of life. She is the current president of the Environmental Psychology Division at the International Association of Applied Psychology.

Agnes E. Van den Berg is an environmental psychologist, specialising in research on people's responses to natural environments. She has published in both the academic and popular press on topics such as landscape preferences, health benefits of nature, children and nature and evidence-based design of healing environments. She has worked at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands in a variety of roles for 15 years and has recently been appointed as a special professor of landscape perception at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Judith I. M. de Groot is a senior lecturer in Applied Psychology at Bournemouth University, UK. She received her PhD at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research interests include explaining and changing pro-environmental behaviours, with a focus on how values and norms affect pro-environmental behaviour.

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“This book is an interesting change from the usual run of introductions to environmental psychology.  It deals interesting and thoroughly with a wide range of issues, and generally the many authors present their views and accounts of research in a clear and easy-to-follow manner.”  (Psychology Learning & Teaching, 1 November 2013)

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