The concept of environmental psychology is a new one which came into existence following the realization that there is always interplay between human behavior and the environments. In this regard, the term environment is broadly explained to include the natural surroundings, social surroundings, built surroundings, learning and information surroundings.
Environmental psychology is a discipline that is committed to the development of a field that is both value and problem oriented giving priority to research that aims at providing a solution to the myriad environmental problems whenever one is pursuing individualistic welfare within the framework of the larger society. This paper shall give an analysis of an article regarding environmental psychology. Environmental Psychology: Environmental psychology is a discipline that deals with behavior in relation to the environment.
This discipline focuses on the concepts that concern environment and the aesthetic preferences being presented in behavioral maps. According to Arkkelin and Veitch, (1995), environmental psychology has been defined as “a multidiscipline behavioral science, both basic and applied in orientation, whose foci are the systematic interrelationships between the physical and social environments and individual human behavior and experience” (p. 5). Environment in this regard becomes more ambiguous as the focus is on the interplay between people, behavior and their surroundings.
Environmental psychology gains some ground given that human behavior is generated by interplay between the cyclical interaction of independent variables that include individuals and environment (Arkkelin and Veitch, 1995). Article Analysis: Social concerns in regard to the problems that are experienced in the real world is the driving force behind scientists’ involvement in environmental psychology issues (Rossman, 2009). One major problem that is facing humanity is associated with global warming that is threatening not only human existence but also any form of life on the earth.
The article for analysis shall be ‘How to Spur Action on Global Warming’ written by Velasquez-Manoff in the year 2008 and published in the Christian Science monitor (Rossman, 2009). According to the article, the temperatures in the Arctic have been rising and even reached nine degrees higher during the fall of 2009 compared to the previous year. The article also reveals that the Arctic had recorded the warmest temperatures in the year 2008. It goes further to explain that emphasis should be placed on how to address the main problem of global warming as opposed to dwelling much on the cause of the problem.
In trying to make individuals change behaviors, human activity is always blamed on the global warming problem and that the problem is said to be a moral issue. This has been found to be potentially counter-productive as individuals take it as criticism (Velasquez-Manoff, 2008). Velasquez-Manoff argues that programs where individuals are required to opt out so as to avoid taking part may be essential in changing behaviors. The opt-out programs employed in organ donation are found to be successful with a rating of between eighty and ninety per cent participation.
When the individuals were asked to opt in for organ donation, success was only realized to up to 20% (Velasquez-Manoff, 2008). In a study on the energy usage by individuals, an energy meter was located on both the inside and outside, and there was found to be a reduction in the energy usage of individuals by up to 14% leading to a conclusion that when individuals are able to visualize the amount of energy that they utilize, then they are able to control the amount of energy that they use by reducing it (Velasquez-Manoff, 2008). Global Warming:
The world today is faced by the global warming phenomenon which is described as the rising temperatures being experienced due to the emissions of the greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gases include the carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane and they are responsible for trapping heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere which in turn increases the temperatures (National Geographic Society, (2010). Carbon dioxide is a non-toxic gas that is usually exhaled by animal’s and absorbed by plants and since the amount of the gas being released is so large, the gas is left in the atmosphere.
According to Arkkelin and Veitch, “With increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the balance between the incoming and outgoing radiation can be maintained only with an increase in surface and lower atmospheric temperatures” (Arkkelin and Veitch, 1995, page 184). The focus of environmental psychology is to devise a way in which people shall be motivated to change their behaviors so as to preserve the environment. In regard to global warming, the interest of the environmental psychologists is to find out the psychological changes that are due to the increasing temperatures.
It has been argued that a higher temperature is associated with increasing levels of crime and violent behavior (Rossman, 2009). Rising temperatures are said to be causing irritability and aggressive behavior amongst individuals. Scientist in environmental psychology aim at improving the management of the environment which shall result into improved quality of life and psychological growth (Mathew, 2004). Actions that are aimed at stopping global warming leads to other benefits like preservation of nature, structural and community improvement as well increased environmental awareness.
There are various actions that if adopted in the homes, will help in addressing the global warming problem. Such actions include making use of modern push mowers as opposed to gas-powered and electrical mowers that are rampant (Global Warming, 2008). The other ways of reducing global warming include using the below-ground pools instead of the above-ground pools which requires less heat. The use of the light emitting diode lights is also advisable as it not only uses less energy, it also has a long life span and provides more light compared to the conventional bulb (Global Warming, 2008).
Conclusion: Global warming is a serious problem that needs to be addressed promptly. To think of the problem in terms of the amount of greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere provides a scenario in which problem appears to be overwhelming to the human race. However, as the old Chinese saying goes that a journey of a thousand miles starts with simple steps; the global warming problem can be addressed through initiation of simple practical solutions such as wearing a pullover instead of turning up the heat.
People need to be environmentally conscious and this should be reflected in the effort they make to preserve the environment for this and the next generation. Sustainability of the environment is crucial for the survival of humanity and the general life found on earth. Environmental psychology is therefore important in addressing environmental issues by providing practical solutions to address the environmental challenges as most of the problems are as a result of human interaction with the environment. Reference: Fisher, J. J. , (2007).
What is Environmental Psychology? Retrieved on 19th August 2010 from; http://environmentpsychology. com/environmental_psychology. htm. Global Warming. (2008). Global Warming – Climate Change. Retrieved on 19th August 2010 from; http://www. warmingglobal. org/ Matthew, V. G. , (2004). Environmental Psychology. Retrieved on 19th August 2010 from; http://www. psychology4all. com/environmentalpsychology. htm National Geographic Society, (2010). What Is Global Warming? Retrieved on 19th August 2010 from; http://environment. nationalgeographic.
com/environment/global-warming/gw overview. html. Rossman, J. (2009). Environmental Psychology Article Analysis. Retrieved on 19th August 2010 from; http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/1928210/environmental_psychology_article_analysis. html. Veitch, R. , & Arkkelin, D. , (1995). Environmental Psychology: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Pearson Education Company. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Velasquez-Manoff, M. , (2008). How to Spur Action on Global Warming. Christian Science Monitor. 100(240). Pp, 13-14.