Psychologie ist die Wissenschaft vom Menschen und seinem Verhalten, wobei sich die Frage stellt, ob Verhalten autark ist, ob es determiniert ist oder ob eine Wechselwirkung zwischen dem menschlichen Verhalten und der (sozialen) Umwelt, in der es erfolgt, besteht. Die Umweltpsychlogie, die nichts mit Umweltschutz zu tun hat, leistet hier einen wichtigen Beitrag:

quote“Burroughs (1989) provides the following definition of environmental psychology as ‘the study of the interrelationships between the physical environment and human behaviour’. Gifford (1987) provides a similar defintion: ‘environmental psychology is the study of transactions between individuals and their physical settings’. An important aspect of both definitions is that they define the process as reciprocal between the person and the environment. In other words, not only does the environment influence the individual, but also the individual impacts on the environment. Both definitions are based on Lewin’s (1951) famous equation:

B = f(P,E)

where B is behaviour, P is the person and E is environment. The equation states that behaviour is a function of the person, the environment and the interaction between the two and is referred to as a person-in-contact approach to understanding behaviour. The basic perspectives in psychology tend to focus on one or the other side of this equation in seeking causes for behaviour either in the person or in the environment. It is important to recognize that for Lewin it was not simply an additive of effect of person and context. He argued that research should take account of the interaction, something that is accepted as the ideal by many but actually put into practice by few. An interactional perspective is a central principle of environmental psychology” (Tony Cassidy, Environmental Psychology, pp.2-3)