Human Behavior and the Environment

Topics: Human behavior, Natural environment, Behavior Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: August 20, 2013
Human Behavior and the Environment
Sabrina Hartman
May 27, 2013
Dr. Michael Mckellip

Human Behavior and the Environment
Within this paper, we will discuss how environmental cues shape behavior. We will also look at how behavior can be modified to support sustainability, as well as how this can limit a negative impact on the environment. Then we will describe how social norms influence behavior and beliefs about the environment. Finally, we will identify two possible solutions that could successfully change behavior and habits in order to lessen negative environment impact. Let us begin with how environmental cues shape our behavior. How Environmental Cues Shape Behavior

An environmental cue is exactly what the name says. It is a cue within our environment that tells us what to do. Our behavior is shaped by environmental cues because these cues tell us what our behavior should be and what it shouldn’t be.

One example of environmental cues is littering. When someone sees that an area is clean, they usually work harder to keep it that way. If someone sees that a place is dirty or covered in trash, they are less likely to care about leaving their trash wherever. This is because, psychologically, when we see that someone cares for something we are more likely to care also. So, transversely, when we see that someone does not care about something, we are more likely not to care about it as well. With littering, this means that we want to keep areas that are already clean, neat and tidy. But, if we see somewhere that is uncared for and dirty, we will treat it that way also. (Steg. 2013) Modifying Behavior to Support Sustainability

Our habitual behaviors that we have learned can be modified to support sustainability. Doing things like turning off a light when you are not using it, or unplugging appliances that are not in use, can conserve energy. If everyone modifies their behavior this way, we can conserve a lot...

References: Steg, L. (2013). Environmental psychology: An introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
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