Could you explain the importance of research in the field of environmental psychology?
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Environmental psychology is the study of the overall human environment. This takes place at a very individual level of studying and improving our personal living space, as well as looking at how we live and work in our communities. The purpose of this field of psychology is to improve the aesthetics and appearance of environments and to make them more attractive and inviting. Without research, environmental psychology becomes guesswork or trial and error. For example, let’s say that you own a clothing store. You have to create an environment that not only attracts customers into the store itself, but retains them in the store long enough to look at your merchandise. By using environmental psychology, in this case the researched knowledge of color, texture, lighting, openness and sound, we can create a shopping environment that will attract customers and improve sales. Without research on the specifics of what is attractive to customers, (often made by observation in other environments) your store’s décor would be guesswork, and your result would not always give the best outcome.Through research on human perception we know that certain colors and patterns attract, excite and stimulate our senses. Some even seem to increase our desire to consume food and exercise. (Environmental psychology uses this researched knowledge to improve our willingness to use recreation. Swings and slides in parks are often red and yellow which increase a child’s desire to use them.) Certain restaurants, a famous fast food one in particular, uses this same red-yellow color pattern to stimulate purchases of food. Even the military uses a reverse form of environmental psychology on submarines, often painting the walls and floors of the galley areas annoying colors of black and white diagonals to decrease the amount of time the submariners spend talking and socializing in the galley.Newer communities use research on traffic patterns, housing planning, building design etc to increase overall satisfaction with the environment. The examples literally number in the thousands. But, without observation of how people use the environment, satisfaction remains hit or miss. That is why in this field, environmental psychology, research is paramount in determining a good result. I hope this helps you,Kate
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.