Theme 2020: Environment and Psychology

The interplay between the individual and their surrounding has been of immense interest to psychologists and researchers. This interest manifests itself in the development of the field of environmental psychology. The sub discipline studies the interplay between the individual and their environment. Environment within this field refers to natural and man-made spaces such as parks, forests, beaches, apartments, offices, and personal rooms. With increasing research in the field we now know that the overall environment consisting of educational opportunities, neighbourhoods, and socio economic status of a person are important determinants of an individual and their behaviour. Further, studies have demonstrated the effect of changes in temperature on mood regulation, travel on well-being, long term relationships on life satisfaction, and reduction in anxiety levels with walking in parks. These conclusions bring to light the value of the surrounding environment and its impact on the individual in varying domains. Important questions then arise with reference to the effects of the environment on an individual in spaces such as the workplace, school, team activities, and the impact of changing infrastructural realities such as apartments as opposed to single-storied houses.. Further, investigations on the individual’s effect on their environment is also of great interest herein. Broader questions, with reference to their impact on the individual arise, with changes in family structures, climate, and global warming. The interplay of the individual and their environment is also important as it would also help in developing an understanding of the value of the individual being proactive to protect and safeguard the environment rather than reactive to these changes.

The objectives are to (a) enhance the understanding of the impact of environment on psychology (b) develop sustainable, cost-effective and evidence-based practices in different domains of psychology like mental health services and human development (c) understand the effects of human beings on their environment and vice versa (d) role of psychology professionals in helping with environmental crises, and preparing young psychologists for these changes.

Subthemes:

    • Workplace

    • Team Building

    • Sports

    • Mood regulation and the environment

    • Individuals and their role during environmental hazards/disaster

    • Environmental education

    • School environment and the individual

    • Sustainable development and the individual

    • Future of environmental psychology

    • Concepts of personal space, and territory

    • Social movements on-line, youth and policy implications

    • Culture, global culture and connectedness

    • Impact on social relationships and roles, social media, identity and behavior, virtual reality