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Crowding

Definition

Environmental psychologists study how human behavior and the physical environment interrelate. Decision making and behavior make an impact on environmental quality—did you walk, bike, drive, or use public transit to get to school today? The physical environment also affects behavior. Crowding illustrates how the physical environment can affect human behavior.

Psychologists distinguish between crowding, a psychological construct wherein the amount of space available is less than desired, and purely physical indices of physical space such as density. Density is typically indexed as people per room or people per square foot. More external density measures like people per acre are less relevant for human well-being. The more immediate experience of the close presence of others, particularly in living and working spaces, matters most. The distinction between psychological ...

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