Psychological Aspects of Man's Environment

Authored by: Sheila M. Pfafflin

Encyclopedia of Environmental Science and Engineering

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439804421
eBook ISBN: 9780203757659
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EESE6-120048557

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Abstract

This entry first discusses psychological studies relevant to man's physical environment. It then considers his psychological and social environment. These categories are to some extent artificial. The relevant environment for an organism consists of those aspects of the physical environment to which it is sensitive. This environment is not necessarily the same as the physical environment as measured by physicists or engineers. A colorblind organism will not respond to variations in the wavelength of light in the same way as one with color vision, though the physical stimulus is the same in both cases. Psychophysics is the branch of psychology concerned with the relationship between man's sensory processes and his physical environment and over 100 years of psychophysical research has shown that the relationship is both subtle and complex. Nevertheless, such division conforms to some natural boundaries within the fields of psychology, and of environmental studies, and so it is adopted here.

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