Psychology 2990A/B Lecture 9: Lecture 9 – Environmental Psychology

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November 29, 2016
Lecture 9 Environmental Psychology
“That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it” – Aristotle
Prologue: Defining Environmental Psychology
It’s concerned with understanding: 2 things
A. The effects of environments on people
1. Natural environments (eg: effect of natural “greenspace” on our physical health)
2. Built environments: human-made environments
Effects of noise and pollution
Effects of lighting; classroom seating (old-fashion: students facing the front; modern: semi-circle
where students can see each other); productivity
Effects of windows in offices and hospital rooms
Design of maps in public buildings (maps to help find buildings)
“Usability” of things (see last week lecture: from fax machine to nuclear plants)
3. Social environments (presence of other people). Eg:
Crowding and stress
Personal space
Privacy
Territoriality
B. The effects of people on environments
1. Some major environmental problems:
Pollution (air and land)
Failure to conserve energy resources (eg: oil)
Over fishing, deforestation, etc
Over population
They are all caused by people!
Q1: Why do people threaten the environment?
Q2: How can we change their beh?
Ans: It’s a classicSocial Dilemma
Part 1: A Two-Person Dilemma “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”
2 men arrested for armed robbery (max penalty is 20 years in prison)
No proof that they committed the robbery
Prosecutor needs confession to convict, so …
o Prisoners are separated and offered a choice: Confess or stay silent
o Consequences of their decision depend on what other prisoner does
The consequences = ThePayoff Matrix
The prisoners are confronted with a “mixed motive” conflict: The best possible joint outcome for
both prisoners (1 year in jail) is NOT the best outcome for each individual (no jail). What to do?
Should they cooperate with each other for best joint outcome? OR
Should they compete with each other for best individual outcome?
Prisoner A
Stay Silent
Confess
Stay Silent
1 year for A
No jail for A
Prisoner B
1 year for B
20 years for B
Confess
20 years for A
5 years for A
No jail for B
5 years for B
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