"Socio-Ecological Psychology: Thinking Through Social Ecology"
Faculty Host: Nicole Shelton
Socio-ecological psychology investigates humans’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral adaption to physical, interpersonal, economic, and political environments. This talk covers three types of socio-ecological psychology research: (a) association studies that link an aspect of social ecology (e.g., population density) with psychology (e.g., prosocial behavior), (b) process studies that clarify why there is an association between social ecology and psychology (e.g., residential mobility, anxiety, familiarity-seeking), and (c) niche construction studies that illuminate how psychological states give rise to the creation and maintenance of a social ecology (e.g., familiarity-seeking, dominance of national chain stores). Socio-ecological psychology attempts to bring the objectivist perspective to psychological science, investigating how objective social and physical environments, not just perception and construal of the environments, affect one’s thinking, feeling, and behaviors, as well as how people’s thinking, feeling, and behaviors give rise to social and built environments.