Response Paper 5

Response Paper 5



Response Paper 5

            Seymour Wapner and Jack Demick in The increasing Contexts of Context in the Study of Environment Behavior Relations cite that researchers in a wide variety of fields have focused on the role played by context in human behavior. The authors note that studies that do not consider context are only interested in the relationship between target predictor and outcome while contextual research considers the role played by the surrounding environment in the outcome. I believe that context is extremely crucial because it influences a large part of people’s daily life. An example is a study on the effects of fuel prices on driving to work. In some cases, some people night choose to walk or commute by bus. In such a study, a non-contextual one would only consider the relationship between fuel prices and driving to work. A contextual study would consider other supplementary issues such as too much traffic congestion on the road and walking for health purposes. The contextual study will capture the actual effect of fuel prices on driving to work while at the same time show how the environment plays a role. I also found the idea of Person in Environment System quite interesting considering that a person is shaped and influenced by various experiences within their environment because it depicts real-life situations (Wapner & Demick, 2002).

            Bell et al in Theories of Environment-Behavior Relationships, talk about theories and their functions, as well as how people interact and conceptualize the environment. One of the ideas presented that I liked was the use of theories in predicting relationships between two or more variables. This capacity of theories to predict relationships helps researchers in coming up with theses for their studies. For instance, it is known that certain environments cause violence in children. One can come up with a thesis to test the relationship between violent images and children’s behavior that says, ‘exposure to violent materials on television and video games can increase violence in children’. With the outcomes of such a study, the researcher only needs to check whether they support the theory. The environmental theories mentioned in this article suggest that the environment impinges on us, and we react to it. I find this very true considering that most of the time one is reacting to different situations in life caused by the context such as sociological issues. Overall, this article is quite informative on the topic of environmental theories (Bell et al, 2001).


Bell, et al. (2001). Theories of Environment-Behavior Relationships. Environmental Psychology, Fifth Edition Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc: pp. 97-135

Wapner, S. & Demick, J. (2002). The Increasing Contexts of Context in the Study of Environment Behavior Relations” in Bechtel and Churchman, eds., Handbook of Environmental Psychology, New York: Wiley and Sons, pp. 3-14

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