Psychology 274 - Environmental Psychology
(SPRING, 2013)

TEXT:  Environmental Psychology (5th Ed.) (Bell, Greene, Fisher, & Baum, 2001)

Multiple Outside Readings (OR) are on Reserve in the SMC Library


Frank McAndrew, E-131 SMC, Ext. 7525


Psychology Department Web Page

Environmental Psychology On-Line Resources

Careers in Environmental Psychology

Environmental Psychology: An Introduction to the Course
Environmental Psychology is the study of the relationship between humans and their physical environment. Traditionally, the emphasis in environmental psychology has been on how human behavior, feelings, and well-being are affected by the physical environment. The earliest studies focused on how human-made environments such as buildings and cities affected behavior. In recent years, the topics that environmental psychologists study have broadened considerably, with an increased emphasis on how humans are affected by natural environments, more research on the effects that humans have on the environment, and the reactions of people to human-made and natural environmental hazards. This field has been a long-standing interest of mine, and I hope that this course entices you to want to learn more about it as well. Click on the link to find out more about my research interests in environmental psychology and to see links to other environmental psychology web sites.

In this course, you will take three tests and complete two class projects. Each test will be worth 25% of your grade. Project #1 will be worth 10% of your final grade, and Project# 2 will be worth 15% of your final grade. The third test will be given during final examination week, but it is not a comprehensive final exam. No makeup tests will be given without prior permission and a very good excuse.

Project #1 is a group project that will be worth 10% of your grade.  In this group project, your group will compile a photographic portfolio of something called “Physical Traces of Behavior,” and one or more of your group’s members will make an oral presentation of your findings.  Project #2 is a project that will help you examine the relationship between the dynamics of your family life and the architecture of your home.  Many of the psychological needs for privacy, personal space, and territoriality that we will be discussing this term are mediated by the architecture of a family’s living space, and I am hoping that your experience in this course will make you a more critical and sophisticated observer of your home environment as well as other built environments.  This project will result in a thoughtfully written 7 to 10 page paper.

93% - 100% = A
90% - 92% = A-
88% - 89% = B+
83% - 87% = B
80% - 82% = B-
78% - 79% = C+
73% - 77% = C
70% - 72% = C-
68% - 69% = D+
63% - 67% = D
60% - 62% = D-
<60% = F


The psychology department learning goals assessed in this course include the following:

1) Effectively and ethically apply the scientific method to studying the mind, the brain,
     and behavior.

2) Understand the basic theoretical approaches and classic empirical findings of

3) Effectively communicate with clear, grammatically-correct writing that conforms to
    APA style.

The first two learning goals will be assessed through the exams in the course.  Goal #1 will be assessed by the group project, and Goal #3 will be assessed by way of the paper that will be written for Project #2.   


History & Methods of Research (Chapter 1; pp. 98-103; OR #1)

Environmental Cognition (Chapter 3, OR #2)

The Natural Environment (Chapter 2; pp. 456-463; OR #3, 4, 5, 6)

Environmental Problems/Behavioral Solutions (Chapter 14; OR #7, 8, 9)

CLASS PROJECT #1 (10%): Photographing Physical Traces  - Due Date: Thursday, April 18th

TEST #1 (25%) - Approximate Date, Tuesday, April 23rd

The Ambient Environment & Personality (Chapters 5 & 6; pp. 103-113; OR #10, 11)

Environmental Stress (Chapter 7; pp. 116-124; OR#12)

Personal Space, Privacy, & Territoriality (Chapter 8; OR #13, 14, 15)

Crowding (Chapter 9; pp. 113-116, 124-131; OR #16)

TEST #2 (25%) - Approximate Date, Tuesday, May 13th

Architecture & Behavior I: Engineering for Human Behavior (Chapter 11; OR #17, 18)

Architecture & Behavior II: Residential Environments (Chapter 12, OR #19, 20, 21)

CLASS PROJECT #2: Architecture and Family Life Style - Due Date: Thursday, May 23rd

Architecture & Behavior III: The City (Chapter 10; OR # 22, 23)

Architecture & Behavior IV: Work & Learning Environments (Chapter 13; OR #24)

TEST #3 - During Scheduled Final Exam Time


1. Memories of Childhood Homes: Some Contributions of Environmental Autobiography to Interior Design Education and Research.(Boschetti, 1987)

2. Sex Differences in Spatial Abilities: Evolutionary Theory and Data. (Silverman & Eals, 1992)

3. A Womb with a View.(Hester, 1979)

4. The Curse of Abel.(Crownfield, 1973)

5. The New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale (Anderson, 2012)

6. The Japanese Garden(Eliovson, 1978)

7. Instructions as a Determinant of Paper Disposal Behaviors.(Geller, Witmer, & Orebaugh, 1976)

8. The mural as graffite deterrence.  (Craw, Leland, Bussell, Munday, & Walsh, 2006)

9. Standing for where you sit: An exploratory analysis of the relationship between academic major and environment beliefs. (Ewert & Baker, 2001)

10. Deviance in the Dark.(Gergen, Gergen, & Barton, 1973)

11. The Effects of Musical Style on Customers' Spending (North, Shilcock, & Hargreaves, 2003)

12. Human Perfoermance in Polar Enviornments (Leon, Sandal, & Larsen, 2011)  

13. How to Spot a Scoundrel (Herbert, 2012)

14. A Fine heritage of feuding (Kroll, 2004)

15. Territorial Markings as a Predictor of Driver Aggression and Road Rage (Szlemko, et al, 2008)

16. Population Density and Social Pathology(Calhoun, 1962)

17. Feng Shui and Environmental Psychology: A Critical Comparison (Bonaiuto, Bilotta, & Stolfa, 2010).

18. Fear of Crime in Relation to Three Exterior Site Features: Prospect, Refuge, and Escape.(Fisher & Nasar, 1992).

19. Architecture, Interaction, and Social Control: The Case of a Large Scale Public Housing Project.(Yancey, 1971).

20. Residential Territories: Cues to Burglary Vulnerability.(Brown, 1985)

21. Push and pull forces away from front porch use. (Wilson-Doenges, 2001)

22. Weighing in on city planning: Could smart urban design keep people fit and trim? (Harder, 2007) 

23. The Psychology of Space (Owen, 2013) 

24. Cubicle Sweet Cubicle (Haslam & Knight, 2010)

To see copies of the powerpoint slides that were used in the lectures for this course, click on the picture of the overhead projector.