Environmental psychology is the study of relationships between environments and human behaviour, environments can range from work place, retail, hospitals, schools, natural environments and many more. These environment –behaviour relationships can show how not only behaviour changes in environments but behaviour can change environment in the same way, this means that the relationship can be interrelationships (Bell et al., 2001). We can look at the behaviour of humans in an environment and how when the environment is manipulated by atmosphere it can create a certain human outcome (Cassidy, 2003). Environmental psychology also looks at the influence environments have on mood (Bell et al., 2001)
When looking at environmental psychology in a setting such as a shopping centre we can look at the behaviour of people, whether their experiences are pleasant or unpleasant in this environment and their overall satisfaction a store (Bell et al., 2001; Bitner, 1992). On entering a retail environment we may encounter music, sent, various colours, lighting and feels, these may not be obvious to use but these elements create different atmospheres in a retail environment that can influence consumers behaviour when shopping, this retail environment can be a important factor in Environmental-Behaviour relationships (Quartier et al., 2009). Many studies have looked at the effects of stimuli on behaviour in retail. One main researcher into atmospherics in Kolter (1973) Kolter says atmospherics can influence consumers and are a new way of marketing products, Kolter defined atmosphere as music, feel, smell and sight (kotler, 1973). As more and more research goes into the atmospherics of a retail place, environments begin to be researched by more than just psychologists. Many market researchers have realised they can manipulate the environments to change consumers behaviours, to gain the goal they are looking for, much of this is done at the point of purchase as they relishes that it is not just the product that influences buyers (Turley & Milliman; kotler, 1973). Kotler also believes that different atmospherics’ is a good way to attach the right target market for each shop (Billings, 1990). Although research done on store environments is hard to deem as reliable and prove strong effects this can be because the studies are measuring temporary emotion and when the research is conducted after the person has left to store in a different environment it is difficult to get a accurate recall of the participants emotions. Therefore, the research can be Unreliable (Billings, 1990).
Mehrabian and Russell 1974 suggest that people have two different reactions to environments they are in, approach and avoidance (Bitner, 1992; Mehrabian & Russell, 1974). Mehrabian and Russell’s model is used as a framework to a lot of environmental psychology especially in store environments and marketing studies (Billings, 1990). Mehbrabian and Russell’s model uses Pleasantness-Unpleasantness to relate to people feeling please, satisfied, happy, High and low Arousal to stimulated, aroused, relaxed, and bored and they use dominance to see how much the person feels in control or not in control. Although dominance does not seem to have much effect in studies there for the main ones used are Pleasantness and arousal (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974; Foxall et al., 1994). Mehbrabain and Russell also say that pleasantness and arousal can also determine whether people approach or avoid things in different environments (Bitner, 1992). Mehbrabain and Russell’s approach has been applied to retail environments by other researchers (Foxall et al., 1994).
This then created a Behavioural response to approach of avoid the environment or situation. Depending on the...