|Micro and Macro level Environment
Environment means our surroundings. The concept is relative to whatever
object that is surrounding us. Einstein once remarked, "The environment
is everything that is not me" (Singh, 1995). Environmental protection
means protection of the nature and surroundings. Environmental protection
is not new in the Indian Context. Love of nature is not a new phenomenon.
It existed even from the beginning of human life and mention of it exists
even in pre-historic phase. Man cannot survive without nature. As a
result it is the duty of man to protect nature and thus environment.
This module attempts to throw light on environment from various perspectives:
Micro level environment refers to social, psychological, family related
environment, architectural beauties of buildings, gardens etc. Micro
level environment refers to social, psychological, ethical and motivation
process involved in environment. Examples are human, likes and dislikes,
stress and enjoyment, privacy, effect of crowding, ambience, etc are
include in this group of analysis.
Is the setting in which the individual lives. These contexts include
the person's family, peers, schools, and neighborhood. It also takes
into account direct interaction with social agents. For example: peers,
The great potential of environment psychology forms the basis for systems
approach to human systems analysis. With growing realization of the
fact that interplay among personal, societal, environmental (cultural,
perceptual and physical) factors is inevitable one must look for its
applications i.e. trying to design environment which are people friendly.
There has been a growing realization in recent years the environment
plays a significant role in human development, human existence and overall
human psychology. The study of mankind is an integral part of looking
at any environmental problem. Most definitions of the environment refer
to organized conditions or patterns of external stimuli that impinge
upon and have the probability of influencing the individuals (Bronfenbrenner
and Crouter, 1983, Wach and Greun, 1982).
Environment broadly speaking refers to all individuals and things connected
to each other. It involves such processes as perception, attitudes,
choices, reactions, evaluations and preferences. Perhaps most individuals
would emphasize on home as the environment for development of a child.
To understand the relationship of environment and behavior, Wohlwill
(1970) suggested the following three factors:
1. Behavior occurs in some particular environmental context that imposes
major constraints on the range of its expression. This factor helps
determine the particular patterns of an individual's behavior as he
or she occupies a given space at a given time.
2. There are certain qualities of the environment such as under- stimulation
and over- stimulation which may exert generalized effects on the broader
responses within the individual.
3. Behavior is directed in a variety of ways at particular attributes
and characteristics of the environment. However, it is evident from
the analysis of the concept that it has different levels as it is multi-dimensional
and multi-disciplinary concept. Where as a psychologist stresses on
culture, sociologist on groups and neighborhoods, geographer on physical
factors, ergonomist on experiences of multistoried building etc. police
and administrators on drug trafficking and business educators on entrepreneurship.
This list could be very long yet without clear boundaries.
However, different environments or the same environment at different
times can change its meaning and thereby evoke corresponding changes
in behavior. For example, the concept of a city makes sense only when
one setting operates satisfactorily in relation to others like residences,
offices, factories, transportation, schools, hospitals and parks etc
and this whole makes a city. Another example is drug use-abuse and related
social consequences (Sharma & Bedi, 1993).
Thus taxonomies of environments encompass many levels, perspectives
and disciplines suggesting that psychological effects of environment
could be at many levels. Bronfenbrenner (1989) has presented an excellent
analysis of such taxonomies using a hierarchal system i.e. meso system,
exo system and macro system. This analysis includes environments such
as roles, interpersonal relationships, social settings, cultures, sub-cultures
and their linkages.
here for the complete paper on "Environment- the Psycho- Social Perspective"
Macro level environment refers to rivers, biodiversity, forests, seas,
ozone layer to name a few.
Man made environment refers to dams, habitats, roads, garbage and cleanliness,
power stations, traffic, crowding, high rise buildings, parks etc.
Natural environment refers to biodiversity, global warming, air, water,
marine environment, tsunami, earthquake etc.
| Micro and Macro level Environment : Some
Micro level environment includes human perceptions and reactions about
things around them, such as family environment, home environment, school
and work environment.
The relationships between climate and human behavior and health have
attracted the attention of researchers from many disciplines since the
early 19th century though the rigorous scientific investigations in
the man-modified climates of large urban areas mortality rates have
been most extensively studied in relation to the unfavorable effects
of heat. Within these large urbanized areas marked spatial variations
in mortality rates have been identified. These correlate significantly
with spatial variations in temperature.
The findings of various epidemiological studies also suggest that atmospheric
pollution is significantly associated with many aspects of morbidity
and mortality. In many cases, Gastrointestinal and respiratory complaints
are common in most cities and they often assume serious forms such as
One of the most important environmental factors is noises of various
types which are stressors and pollutants in contemporary urban areas.
The effects of noise produced by factories, vehicular traffic, and aircraft
on people have been analyzed by researchers in environmental psychology.
In extreme cases, like in some factories noise levels have been loud
enough to damage hearing permanently. Studies have also found that exposure
to loud and permanent noise produces anxiety and irritation in people
The physical condition of housing is yet another factor influencing
the physical and mental health of residents. However, it has also been
recognized that the distribution of most physical and mental illnesses
varies considerably between social groups. Numerous epidemiological
studies have shown that health status of populations differs markedly
according to background and life style, some such factors are age structure
and life cycle, socioeconomic and minority status and variations in
community homogeneity and stability. Environment plays an important
role in the development of children. Environment also affects elders
as some genet logical studies reveal. Mankind at large is affected by
various environmental inputs which affect satisfaction, performance
and quality of life.
ATMOSPHERE : Atmosphere includes Chemical and Photochemical
Reactions in the Atmosphere; Reaction of Atmospheric Nitrogen; Reaction
of Atmospheric Oxygen; Water in the Atmosphere; Fog; Temperature etc.
FORESTS: Forests constitute a major part of the natural environment.
There are many Forest Types; Classification of Forests includes Social
Forestry and Community Forestry.
HYDROSPHERE: Refers to water related environment.
INDIAN RIVERS: River and their Major Tributaries are examples
of water borne environment. River Ganga;; River Gomti; River Chambal;
River Brahmaputra; River Yamuna; River Narmada constitute this aspect
of the environment.
MOUNTAINS: Mountains are also major parts of natural environment.
The Geography of the Himalaya its Sub-divisions; Agricultural Systems;
Animal Husbandry; Grassland; Land Resources and Tourism; Forest Wealth
Wildlife are important in this regard. Environmental Management of the
Himalayas which includes Conserving and Managing the Depleting Resources
of Plants; Conservation & Management of the Wildlife need to be
looked into to maintain the ecological balance. Depleting forest resources,
managing the hazards are yet another group of issues that have to be