Landscape perception and environmental psychology

Authored by: Catharine Ward Thompson

The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415684606
eBook ISBN: 9780203096925
Adobe ISBN: 9781136220609


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This chapter sets a context for understanding how we engage with the world around us, particularly the outdoor and natural elements of the environment. It describes studies and research approaches that explore how we experience the landscape, on a number of levels, and the relevance of this to our attitudes, our behaviour, and indeed our wellbeing. A key element relates to evidence on the process of landscape perception – how we make sense of the environment and what it offers. It discusses theories and models which attempt to explain the bases of aesthetic response, preference and behaviour. It gives an overview of methods that have been effective in empirical research to help understand how people engage with the landscape in everyday life and techniques, methodologies or principles that might fruitfully be pursued in future to address gaps in our understanding. This is necessarily a brief overview and many themes are the subject of a considerable body of research which can only be touched upon here.

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