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IAED 410 Environmental Psychology Asst.Prof.Dr. Deniz Hasırcı Spring 2009-2010.

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Presentation on theme: "IAED 410 Environmental Psychology Asst.Prof.Dr. Deniz Hasırcı Spring 2009-2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 IAED 410 Environmental Psychology Asst.Prof.Dr. Deniz Hasırcı Spring 2009-2010

2 Three Orders in Looking at the Environment - Three Orders - Perception - Gestalt - Cognition - Cognitive maps

3 Three Orders in Looking at the Environment Let’s be botanists. Not florists: categorize according to color, fragrance. Not farmers: rank according to marketability. Thus: Three Orders


5 Environmental Perception and Cognition 1.Environmental Perception Gestalt 2.Environmental Cognition (operational) Cognitive Maps Wayfinding

6 Process for gathering information about the world (source of affective responses). OBJECT PERCEPTION: Simple stimuli: –Brightness –Color –Depth –Perceptual constancy –Form –Movement 1. Environmental Perception

7 “Perception-in-action”: Perceiver is part of the scene. Moving involves multiple perspectives. Perceiver is connected by clear goal.


9 Gestalt Psychology: The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Laws of organization (how the brain operates) Gestalt: “form”, “unified whole”, “configuration”. Gestalt psychologists developed five laws that govern human perception:

10 1. Law of Proximity

11 2. Law of Similarity

12 3. Law of Good Continuation

13 4. Law of Closure

14 5. Law of Prägnanz (good form)

15 6. Law of Figure/Ground

16 The process of thought that leads to knowing: –The psychological result of perception, learning, recognizing, reasoning. –Refers to the mental functions and processes (thoughts). –How we acquire, store, organize, recall information about locations, distances, and arrangements in spaces. 2. Environmental Cognition

17 What is your “image of the city”? How might our understanding of how people develop mental images of the environment help us design spaces better fitted to users’ needs? Environmental cognition can contribute to practical environmental design. Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City

18 Why Legibility? Aids navigation Guides social interaction Prevents feeling lost Helps make the environment feel like “home” Some environments are more legible than others

19 Features of Cognitive Maps Lynch (1960): –Five important elements (of legibility) in mental maps of cities Path — distinctive thread that gives direction. Edge — the boundary between two areas. Node — important pathways come together, activity. District — medium/large area with a common identity. Landmark — reference point that stands out due to shape, height, color, or historic importance.

20 Path

21 Edge

22 Node

23 District

24 Landmark


26 See you next week!

27 LAST WEEK: Environmental Perception and Cognition 1.Environmental Perception Gestalt 2.Environmental Cognition (operational) Cognitive Maps Legibility Wayfinding

28 Wayfinding: an internal psychological process, sequence of problem-solving activities. The process by which we navigate in our environment. Newcomers to an environment experience the stressful feeling of being lost  learned process.

29 Effects of Signage and Floor Plan Configuration on Wayfinding Accuracy [(Environment and Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 5, 553-574 (1991)]. Michael J. O'Neill Interior Environments Pgm, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison This study examines the influence of floor plan complexity and several types of signage on wayfinding within a series of buildings on a university campus. The study used a 5 x 3 factorial experimental design. The first factor, complexity of floor plan configuration, is defined through five alternatives. The second factor, signage, has three conditions: no signage, textual signage, or graphic signage. The results show that as floor plan complexity increases, wayfinding performance decreases. Graphic signage produced the greatest rate of travel in all settings, but textual signage was the most effective in reducing wayfinding errors, such as wrong turns and backtracking. Overall, the addition of signage resulted in a 13% increase in rate of travel, a 50% decrease in wrong turns, and a 62% decrease in backtracking across the five settings. However, plan configuration was found to exert a significant influence regardless of signage, because the wayfinding performance of participants with access to signage in the most complex settings remained equivalent to, or significantly poorer than, those in the simplest settings with no signage. »EDRA, INFORMAWORLD, DESIGN SHARE, NSCU-UD

30 1. Perceiving Configurations Live Configurations Control vs. Ownership Control Games Overlap of Form and Territory 2. Basic Theories of Environment and Behavior THIS WEEK:

31 Does control mean ownership? –Borrowed furniture, equipment, spaces? Environmental game: –Watch the game –Observe live configurations –Deduce rules –Not to ask agents what, but why and how.


33 Public Spaces: Overlap of Form and Territory Manipulation of public space Claiming territory through use of space

34 Zaha Hadid: Burnham Pavilion, Chicago

35 Ethics/Values Attitudes Behavior Environmental Effects Ethics/Values and Attitudes

36 Arousing Upleasant Pleasant Not Arousing Russell and Lanius: Affective Quality of Places

37 1.Coherence: making sense (an understandable context) 2.Legibility: the promise of making sense (for the person) 3.Complexity: involvement, number and variety of elements within a scene 4.Mystery: the promise of involvement Kaplan and Kaplan Preference Model * (Remember Lynch’s Spatial Descriptors!)

38 1.Coherence: ease of organizing and structuring parts, units, chunks, blocks or scene elements. Patterns that result from many similar and repeating parts allow for easier human comprehension (similarity/proximity).

39 2. Legibility: is found in an environment that looks as if one could explore extensively without getting lost. Undifferentiated sameness causes low legibility.

40 3. Complexity: a reflection of whether there is enough present in the scene to keep one mentally occupied. Too little is boring, too much is overwhelming.

41 4. Mystery: occurs when a scene provides partial information about what lies ahead, inviting exploration. Things are obscured in such a way as to reveal their presence but not their full identity.

42 See you next week!

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