Environmental psychology

Objectives and subject-specific competences


Students are informed about basic questions of relations between people and their environment, about ecological factors of working and living environment and their influence on health, feelings and efficiency. Students get a more profound view of the general linear model and its applications in environmental psychology.


students are taught about basic methods of judging influences of different interventions in the environment on the behaviour and perception of people. They know psychological bases of people’s behaviour within the environment and are qualified for research in this field. They are acquainted with indicators and standards for definition of harmfulness, with methods for definition and evaluation of harmfulness and with steps for its improvement. They get some basic information on how to use, interprete and judge the results of methods for the analysis of multivariate relationships models for variables in different levels of measurment. A modern software equipment is of great help for them (HLM, SPSS).

Description of content

Introduction: definition and fields of ecological psychology; nature of behaviours between human and environment; characteristics and types of methods in ecological psychology; evaluation after the use; social processes and environment: privacy; territorial behaviour; crowd; personal space; behavioural frame; neighbourhoods and the city; social-spatial forms; social fleeting and social permanent environment; behavioural and social traps; environmental positions and values; handling the environment; ethical aspects of the relation to the environment; persuading and influence; knowing the environment: characteristics of the perception of the environment; orientation in the environment; orientation in the environment; cognitive maps; aesthetic aspects of the environment; notion of a place; meanings in the environment; Sensual qualities and their influence: light and colours; dark; sound and noise; temperature; smell and odour; environmental problems and solutions for them: global environmental problems; human behaviour as a reason for environmental changes; pollution; rubbish and rubbish dumps; vandalism; criminal and its prevention; traffic environments; energy and energetic saving; sustainable development; natural environment; perception of natural environments; landscape, pleasure and preferences; refreshing influences of the nature; relaxing environments; disasters: detection of the threat and treatment during the danger. Psychology and planning: differences between the users, receivers and planners; processes of adjustment; negotiation about common feature of the environment; judgement about the impacts on the environment; public relations; Characteristics of behaviour and perception in some special environments: schools; playing-grounds; paths; markets; natural environments: parks, forests, gardens; stadiums; hospitals, restaurants; apartments; settlements; environments for special groups, etc. Definition of ecology of work; assignments of the ecology of work; ecological standards and recommendations; major ecological factors of working environment; ecological supervision, improvement of harmfulness; heat indexes. Noise: units for noise measurement; inconvenience of noise; impact of the noise on human; audiometry. Lighting: the importance of lighting for a human; units of measuring the lighting; the appropriate planning of the lighting. Gases and aerosol: gas pollution of the working environment; the way of entering the gas in the human body; harmfulness of poison gases; onising and non-ionising radiations; influence on human organism; natural and artificial sources of radiation; the protection against the radiation. Hierarchical linear modeling (multi-level analysis): logic, suppositions and model; a model with random vertices; a model with random gradients; evaluation of the adequacy and the comparison of models. Modeling with categorical variables: logistic regression, log-linear models. Applications in environmetal psychology.

Basic bibliography

Bechtel, R. B. in Churchman, A. (ur.) (2002). Handbook of Environmental Psychology. New York: Wiley. (str. 15-94, 306-322, 589-606)
Bell, P. A., Greene, T. C., Fisher, J. D. in Baum, A. (2001). Environmental Psychology. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers. (634 str.)
Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: Sage. (str. 218-268, 681-720).
Polič, M., Klemenčič, M. M., Kos, D., Kučan, A., Marušič, I., Ule, M. N., Natek, K. in Repovš, G. (2002). Spoznavni zemljevid Slovenije. Ljubljana: ZIFF. (str. 15-55, 305-328) Raudenbush, S. W. in Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2. izd.). Thousand Oaks: Sage. (str. 3-95)
Salvendy, G. (ur.) (1997). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics (2. izd.). New York: Wiley. (str. 790-823)
Sabadin, A. (1999). Ekologija za psihologe. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za psihologijo.
Sanders, M. S. in McCormick, E. J. (1987). Human Factors in engineering and design (6. izd.). New York: McGraw-Hill. (str. 389-426)
Sušnik, J. (1990). Toplotna obremenitev in obremenjenost – Priročnik. Ljubljana: Inštitud za socialno medicino in socialno varstvo Univerzitetnega zavoda za zdravstveno in socialno varstvo. (str. 11–72)
Verhovnik, V. (1984). Ekologija dela. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta.

Envisaged learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Understanding the exchange between human and environment and knowing basic legalities of human experience of the environment and the use of methods of environmental psychology. Knowing psychological processes which are significant for perception of the environment and the behaviour in it. The awareness of ethic questions of the relationship with the environment. Knowing and understanding the basic phenomena from the field of ecology of working environment and the meaning of ecological factors for human health, the efficiency at work and the welfare. Knowing the main types of multivariate models in multi-level modeling and modeling of categorical variables. Knowledge about the adequate software for individual methods.


The use of psychological cognitions and methods when planning and solving environmental problems, understanding relations between different public and interference in the environment, cooperation with them and their integration, finding the necessary interferences from the view of human well-being, requirements of public relations. Evaluation of ecological factors’ effects of working environment on the health, the efficiency and the feeling of workers at their workplace, suggestions for fixing these burdens. The use of the discussed methods of modeling: testing the adequacy of suppositions, choosing the software, performing an analysis and intelligible reports of the results to other researchers. Critical judgement of the adequacy of analysis and their interpretations on which it is written in technical literature.


Understanding of various environmental problems – perception of the environment and understanding of aesthetic standards and questions of relationship between planners and public, aesthetic reflection of interference in the environment, etc. Critically and ethically responsible judgement of negligent attitude towards living and working environment and the endeavour to provide a cleaner environment and heightened environmental awareness.

Transferable skills – not tied to just one subject

Methods of teaching and learning

Lectures, field work, research seminar, presentations, project work, individual assignments

Conditions for inclusion or to undertake work required

(a) enrolment in the 2nd year of the Master’s programe of psychology (b) inclusion in the model Psychology in economics (c) to access the oral/written exam, students must obtain a pass mark of the report on the project and done all the individual assignments

Methods of assessment and the assessment scale

(a) oral/written exam (60% of the mark) and the mark of the report on the project (40%) (b) 6-10 (pass) and 1-5 (fail), taking into account the Statute of the University of Ljubljana and faculty rules.

Methods of evaluation of quality

Self-evaluation, students’ questionnaires

Curriculum complier

Nosilca: izr. prof. dr. Argio Sabadin, red. prof. dr. Marko Polič
Drugi izvajalci: doc. dr. Gregor Sočan, red. prof. dr. Valentin Bucik

Polajnar, A., Verhovnik, V., Sabadin, A. in Hrašovec, B. (2003). Ergonomija. Maribor: Univerza v Mariboru, Fakulteta za strojništvo.
Verdnik, V., Sabadin, A., Hrašovec, B. in Sunčič, S. (1998). Ecological Stresses and Strains of Inhabitants near a Transit Road in the Countryside. V: Papers of 11th World Clean Air and Environment Congress. Durban, South Africa, 13-18 September 1998. Volume three. National Association for Clean Air, Parklands, South Africa. Session #8D Vehicle Emissions/Control, 1998, 8D-5.
Kobal, A., Nanut, E., Horvat, M., Stegnar, P. in Sabadin, A. (1999). Evaluation of Internal Doses of Mercury at Intermittent Exposure to Elemental Mercury at the Mine in Idrija. V R. Ebinghaus, R. R. Turner, L. D. de Lacerda, O. Vasiliev in W. Salomons (ur.), Mercury Contaminated Sites. Characterization, Risk Assessment and Remediation (str. 271-279). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Polič, M., Marušič, J., Kos, D. in Natek, K. (2005). People-environment studies in Slovenia: past and prospects. V B. Martens in A. G. Keul (ur.), Designing social innovation (str. 17-26). Toronto : Hogrefe.
Polič, M. (2004). Landscape elements in the mental map of Slovenia. Landscape 21, 1(1), 19-28.
Polič, M. in Repovš, G. (2004). Cognitive map of Slovenia: spatial representations and identity. Psychol. Beitr., 46(suppl. 1), 65-88.
Sočan, G. in Ten Berge, J. M. F. (2003). The determinants of the bias in Minimum Rank Factor Analysis (MRFA). V H. Yanai, A. Okada, K. Shigesimasu, Y. Kano in J. J. Meulman (ur.), New developments in psychometrics (str. 95-102). Tokyo: Springer.
Ten Berge, J. M. F. in Sočan, G. (2007). The set of feasible solutions for reliability and factor analysis. V S.-Y. Lee (ur.), Handbook of latent variable and related models (str. 303-320). Amsterdam: North Holland/Elsevier.