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Environmental Perception

  • By: Dave Lemberg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Originally developed by geographers and psychologists in the 1950s through the 1970s, environmental perception focuses on how people sense, mentally process, and act on patterns they perceive in space and time. In truth, there is no simple definition of environmental perception in that the two components of the concept—environment and perception—are anything but simple. The environment can be defined as the reality around us in which people live and act. William Kirk introduced into geography a dual view of the environment from gestalt psychology of the phenomenal environment, which lies outside a person's perceptions, and the behavioral environment, which is the perceptual environment, in which the phenomenal environment is given meaning through the senses, experiences, culture, and values of the individual. David Lowenthal introduced environmental ...

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