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of People-Enviromental Studies


SPRING 2014 - #41




International Association for People-Environment Studies aims to improve the physical environment and human well-being.

Submissions Whilst we encourage all our members to submit material, any submission for inclusion in the Bulletin should be written to high standards of English grammar and punctuation. To help the review process, we kindly ask you have the material checked by a fluent English speaker before submitting it to the Bulletin. Please, send your contributions for the next issue by e-mail to Ricardo García Mira, at the following address: bulletin.iaps@gmail.com All manuscripts should be written in Times New Roman 12 pt., double-spaced. The maximum word length for articles is 2000 words. Include names, affiliation and full contact details of all the authors.

Instructions on how to become an IAPS member, or to renew your membership, are available on the IAPS webiste: iaps-association.org

Bulletin of PeopleEnviromental Studies. Spring 2014 Number 41 ISSN: 1301 - 3998

www.iaps-association.org Editor Giuseppe Carrus Editorial Team Aleya Abdel-Hadi Ricardo García-Mira Corina Ilin Ombretta Romice Kevin Thwaites Clare Twigger-Ross

Editorial Committee Angela Castrechini Arza Churchman José A. Corraliza Tony Craig Sandrine Depeau Edward Edgerton Ferdinando Fornara Birgitta Gattersleben Bernardo Hernández Maria Johanson Florian Kaiser Peter Kellett Marketta Kitta Roderick Lawrence Jeanne Moore Enric Pol Massimiliano Scopelliti Hulya Turgut David Uzzell

Photo Credits All photographs included in this list are under a Creative Commons license: Attribution-noncommercial 3.0 Unported. Cover: Letting light find space by sapheron*. Page 2: 27/ 365 Reflections by T1m0thy77*. Page 5: Inselspital by Sandstein*. Page 7: Agatha’s lighting by clementchene*. Page 8: morcheeba:thumbnails by visualpanic*. Page 10: Sunset over Triana Bridge by josemanuelerre*. Page 12: Stadion by superselect*. Page 12: Office hour... by Nik Cyclist*. Page 13: Sustainable Development by geographylltheway.com*.

Page 13: Road - Windmills near Taranto 1764 by CucombreLibre*. Page 16: “No al Nucleare”, Turin, November 2012 by Denis Bocquet*. Page 17: Ferma Il Nucleare! Vota Si by arvindgrover*. Page 25: pc-office-box illustration by HikingArtist.com*. Page 25: Coworkers Mídias Sociais by Mr.Boombust*. Page 32: Russia_2641 by archer10 (Dennis)*. Page 34: a day at the museum 1 by ** RCB **. Page 35: A Real Headscratcher by meeralee*. Back: Reflejos en el MUSAC by guillenperez*.

* Flickr user



IAPS Board 2012-2014 Ricardo García Mira, President

Petra Schweizer-Ries, Membership

University of A Coruña Spain

Conference support, YRW. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Giuseppe Carrus, Secretary

Kevin Twaithes, Networks

University of Roma Tre Italy

University of Sheffield UK

Clare Twigger-Ross, Treasurer

Sigrun Kabisch, Conference support, YRW

Collingowood Environmental Planning Ltd. UK

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Germany

Tony Craig, Website, Membership

Seungkwang Shon, Membership

The James Hutton Institute Scotland, UK

Dongshin University South Korea

Claudia Andrade, Website, Newsletter

Karina Landeros, Networks

YRW. Lisbon University Institute Portugal

National Autonomous University of Mexico

Ian Simkins, Website, Networks

Caroline Hagerhall, Membership

Experiemics, Experiential Landscape Research UK

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden

The IAPS Board is now structured into four workgroups, each with a lead responsible member. Management Responsible: Ricardo García Mira (President). Members: Giuseppe Carrus (Secretary), Clare Twigger-Ross (Treasurer), Seungkwang Shon (Membership/Listserve) and Tony Craig (Website). Tasks: finances, membership, profile, constitution, elections, meetings, conference voting, general liaison, and the public face of IAPS. Published Outputs Responsible: Ricardo García Mira (Bulletin). Members: Giuseppe Carrus (Bulletin), Claudia Andrade (Newsletter), Tony Craig (Website) and Ian Simkins (Website). Tasks: bulletin, website, newsletter, bibliography, publicity. Conference related activities Responsible: Sigrun Kabisch (Conference Support, YRW). Members: Petra Schweizer-Ries (Conference Support, YRW) and Claudia Andrade (YRW). Tasks: Young Researchers Workshop, Hall of Fame, conference support. Networks Responsibles: Kevin Thwaites and Ian Simkins. Members: Karina Landeros (Networks). Tasks: Iaps networks coordination.



Bulletin Summary TOC 1. Presidential address (R. García Mira) 2. Editorial address (G. Carrus) 3. Farewell address (E. Edgerton)

P. 6-8


6 7 8 P. 9-34

1. Theoretical reflection: light please! (Y. de Kort) 9 2. Research report: Between representation and self-perception. What kind of energy citizenship in Italy? (M. Sarrica, S. Brondi, M. Gavrila, M. Ferrucci) 13 3. Research report: Food Services in the Inselspital (Insel Hospital) a Benefit Analysis «GINA» (B. Degenhardt) 18 4. Research report: The environmental dimension of organizational wellbeing: results of a preliminary survey from a public University in Italy (R. Fida, V. Biasci, G. Carrus) 23 5. Research report: Effects of art experience on physio-psychological wellness. A preliminary study in a virtual setting of museum visit (S. Mastandrea, F. Maricchiolo) 28 6. Dissertation abstract: Daytime light exposure: Effects and preferences (K. Smolders) 34 P. 36-37 NEWS Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models, and Upscaling Regional Sustainability (GLAMURS) Kick-Off Meeting of the GLAMURS Project (FP7 – 2014-2016) (R. García Mira, A. Dumitru) FORTHCOMING CONFERENCES Experiencing light 2014 PSICAMB ASSOCIATION

36 P. 38-39 38 P. 40-41

Environmental psychology association. la asociación de psicología ambiental (PSICAMB) (J. L. Aragonés) OTHER EVENTS Science paper on environmental education (J. Dillon)


40 P. 42 42


Presidential address,

by Ricardo GarcĂ­a Mira Those who have been members of IAPS for a while now will remember me writing for this Editorial Section as Editor of this Bulletin between 2004 and 2008. I felt honored to hold such a position in IAPS then and I am all the more proud today to greet you as the new President of our organization. I would like to thank you all for your support and confidence in allowing me to represent you in this role. Since its first conference in 1969, IAPS has met regularly and maintained a vivid activity during its 45 years of existence, dedicated to facilitating contact between scientists and promoting collaborative work through its international research networks. During all these years we have had the opportunity to experience many of the changes that have gradually transformed our ways of approaching scientific work in the field of personenvironment studies. New interdisciplinary challenges have opened new ways to work cooperatively. The political context appears to be more open to the type of applied research that is being conducted in IAPS. ĂŽt is this type of work that has attracted many environmental psychologists, architects, planners and other social scientists to join our organization and develop creative strategies for collaborative research. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go for us in developing a fluid connection with policy contexts and establish IAPS as a consultative body for research-informed policy.

It is our duty to keep generating opportunities for sound scientific debate and build bridges between research and policy on the one hand, and among the various represented disciplines, on the other. Such an endeavor requires constant renovation in evermore fruitful ways of approaching the understanding of human-environment interactions. The last conference held last June in Timisoara has demonstrated once again that this is a lively organization in which more and more young researchers share their ideas and discuss the status and progress of high quality research and also ensure generational change in IAPS. Once again, I congratulate the organizers for an excellent conference which adds to those that are already part of the history of IAPS. All of us present could give testimony to this event being an exciting meeting place for psychology, architecture and all those disciplines analyzing the environment from a human perspective. I also want to extend my congratulations to James Simpson for his YR Award as well as to Vittoria Giuliani for her entrance into the IAPS Hall of Fame! I assume this new role as both an opportunity and a significant challenge to develop new ideas and projects in IAPS. For me, the presidency is a challenge that I am prepared to assume. I have had the opportunity to


know this organization well over the past 20 years, and fully understand its philosophy and principles. We are all developing our work in a changing global context that requires continuous adaptation, but IAPS has an enormously valuable and committed group of people elected as its Board who will accompany me during this period. We all sincerely appreciate your trust and support to carry out IAPS duties during the period 2014-2018. We hope that at the end of this period you will not be disappointed with the result.

I would like to thank Edward Edgerton for the work he has done as President, and congratulate him on his excellent abilities to stimulate the team working beside him for the past few years. I would like to also thank the members of the Board who completed their service, Aleya Abdel-Hadi and Corina Ilin. I am sure they will continue to be active contributors to IAPS in the coming years. The machinery of the new board is well oiled to undertake a further period of activity that aims to meet the objectives of IAPS and strengthen the functioning of all its structures. There are three central themes that will guide our work. First, IAPS will strengthen the operation of its research networks, striving to further improve its publications policy and its status in relationship to other international bodies in order to become a reference and leader organization in the field. Secondly, IAPS will strive to promote an open-access policy for its publications, and will adopt ethically-responsible management and financial strategies (e.g. working with ethical banks). Finally, IAPS will continue to expand around the world, promoting the development of person-environment studies and opening up new paradigms to explore environmental and social problems. To do this, we have over five hundred members and about one thousand participants in our scientific activities, including both scientists and practitioners, spread over five continents. Many of them collaborate with our activities, contribute to our publications and promote, in short, a collaborative way of doing science. All these activities undoubtedly stimulate progress and innovation in research, facilitate dialogue and promote interdisciplinary integration of research, policy and practice, thus reaching IAPS aims. We are open to all your suggestions, proposals and initiatives that aim to improve this exciting and stimulating Association. With my best wishes,

Ricardo GarcĂ­a Mira, President of IAPS


Editorial address,

by Giuseppe Carrus Welcome to this issue number 41 of the Bulletin of People-environment Studies. In our intentions, you should have been reading this number of the Bulletin during your stay in Timisoara for the 23rd IAPS Conference. Unfortunately, we did not make it in delivering this bulletin in time for that. However, we hope that not too many weeks will have passed since your coming back home from Timisoara and you can now have the opportunity to read this issue while having still fresh positive remembrances of the conference experience. I am sure that the Timisoara conference will be remembered as a pleasant and exciting experience as all the other conference that we have all been attending in the past! This issue is a normal one, while the next one (number 24) will be a thematic one. The detailed call for contribution for the next issue will be released soon through the IAPS website, Newsletter and mailing list, but we can already anticipate here that it will address the issue of Places and Democracy. This is an issue that touches each of us, not only as researchers and practitioners ion the field of people-environment studies, but also (and I would say first of all), as citizens of the current globalized and networked human society. I therefore hope that many brilliant minds within IAPS will be willing to contribute, in different forms.


Please, start thinking about it as we look forward to have a great and terrific special issue!

I want to take the opportunity of this short editorial address to add some special thanks and welcomes: thanks to Aleya Abdel-Hadi and Corina Ilin, which have finished their mandate within the IAPS Board, and with whom I have really shared pleasant and kind moments during these years. Welcome to the new board members Karina Landeros-Mugica from Mexico and Seungkwang Shon from South Korea, which will add the flavour of America and Asia to the new board.

My special, sincere and grateful thought goes to Eddie Edgerton, who completed his presidential mandate, and my warm welcome goes to Ricardo Garcia Mira who will take on this responsibility as IAPS President. With both, I have shared during all these years the responsibility of working together within IAPS, as well as in other projects. But, most importantly, I have shared with Eddie and Ricardo the pleasure of chatting about the beauty of life and friendship in front of a beer, either cold or warm! Thanks for allowing me such a privilege, my dear friends!


Farewell address,

by Edward Edgerton Dear IAPS member,

Having now retired as IAPS President I would like to take this opportunity to say farewell (both as President and as a member of the IAPS Board). I will of course continue to be involved with IAPS and offer support to the new Board whenever this may be useful.

IAPS23 was a hugely enjoyable and stimulating event and I would like to thank Corina and her team for all their efforts in making the conference such a success. I have left Timisoara with many happy memories and will look back fondly on my last IAPS conference as President. Looking forward, I am very confident thatunder the new Presidency of Ricardo Garcia Mira, IAPS will continue to grow and develop and meet the needs and wishes of its members. The new Board will benefit from the experience of existing members and I am delighted that Ian, Petra, Clare and Sigrun decided to stay on the Board for another 4 years. I am also particularly delighted that we have two new Board members; Karina Landeros-Mugica from Mexico and Seungkwang Shon from South Korea. The election of Karina and Shon demonstrates the global appeal of IAPS and I am confident that they will make a significant

contribution to IAPS. Finally, Aleya Abdel-Hadi and Corina Ilin also retired from the IAPS Board and I would like to express my gratitude for all their efforts on the Board over the years.

I would like to finish on a personal note by saying that it has been a tremendous honour and privilege to serve IAPS as a Board member over the last nine years. IAPS continues to be a very healthy, vibrant and extremely important international organisation for those of us that care passionately about how humans interact with their environment and the consequences of this interaction. The continued success of IAPS has only been possible due to the enthusiasm and dedication of all the IAPS Board members that I have worked with over the years and I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and friendship; I know that these friendships will continue in the years to come Thanks to all of you for your past, present and continued support and membership of IAPS. Dr Edward Edgerton



Theorethical reflections, research experiences and dissertation abstracts


Yvonne de Kort Associate professor Environmental Psychology, Human-Technology Interaction & Program manager Sound Lighting, Intelligent Lighting Institute Eindhoven University of Technology y.a.w.d.kort@tue.nl

Recently I asked bachelor students in one of my courses to fill out a questionnaire. The results were quite shocking: 15 percent of them had scores sufficiently high to be clinically labelled as suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder); another 25 percent showed scores indicating a sub-clinical level of SAD (‘winter blues’), which produces similar, but less acute, symptoms. So it turned out that almost half of my students seriously suffer from too little light exposure during fall and winter. They are likely to experience low moods, low energy, inability to concentrate, and weight gain, and even their physical condition may deteriorate. Most of them had been unaware until we asked.

We should be taking our students outside more, or give them extra light indoors to help them through the darker months of the year. Yet instead we continue to lower the shades during lectures, and dim the lights so that students can read the slide projections we prepared meticulously the night before, only to find that half of them are asleep by the end of the lecture, the other half fighting to stay awake. Most of the larger lecture halls on our campus don’t even have windows. I hear it’s the same for most colleagues: spending those scarce nightly hours in front of laptop screens we are not respecting our own biological lighting needs, and forcing dim light settings on students we are not respecting theirs. LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT

Over the past six years I have become more and more involved in light research. I have learned to appreciate light as an ignored, yet incredibly important characteristic of our physical environment. Its effects are compelling, its causal pathways numerous. First, light is crucial for a healthy entrainment of our biological clock. Experts in the field agree that it affects circadian rhythms “more powerfully than any drug” (Czeisler, 2013, S13). As such it has an enormous influence on our physical and mental health (e.g., Alvarez & Ayas, 2004; Alvaro,



Roberts, & Harris, 2013). Healthy sleep and well-entrained sleep-wake cycles impact recovery from surgery and depression. And light therapy is used as a curative treatment for most types of depression (both seasonal and nonseasonal), and currently suggested also for ADHD, dementia, bulimia, and numerous other psychiatric disorders. Second, light can acutely impact brain activity, resulting in higher alertness and performance on cognitive tasks (Vandewalle, Maquet, & Dijk, 2009), even among healthy, day-active persons (Smolders, de Kort & Cluitmans, 2012; Smolders, de Kort, & van den Berg, 2013), as well as mood (Stephenson, Schroder, Bertschy, & Bourgin, 2012). More and more research is teaching us about the effects of light – its intensity, spectrum, and timing - or a shortage thereof. Above effects are generally ascribed to so-called non-visual mechanisms of light, as the primary photoreceptors (non-rod, non-cone) responsible for

these effects only minimally contribute to our visual experience of the world. But of course visual experience also presents important routes to individuals’ wellbeing and health. Visual lighting needs have received much attention for decades and we know that light conditions influence task visibility, performance and visual comfort (e.g., Boyce, 2003). But psychological lighting needs also exist. Light creates atmospheres, induces associations, guides and directs attention. Through these pathways, literature reports that light can also influence social perceptions and behaviour, including liking, smiling, touching and collaborating (e.g., Baron, Rea, & Daniels, 1992). It influences work motivation and performance (Veitch, Stokkermans, & Newsham, 2013). It has been suggested to impact deviant behaviours such as cheating and punishing others (e.g., Zhong, Bohns, & Gino, 2010). At night it influences perceptions of safety (e.g., Haans &


de Kort, 2012), as well as perceived restorativeness of urban streetscapes (Nikunen & Korpela, 2012). A special role is reserved for daylight, which is often preferred and attributed special meaning (e.g. Veitch, 2011). And also through this psychological route, light – especially daylight – may have a powerful impact on subjective and objective mental and physical wellbeing (Beute & de Kort, 2013). But the literature is scarce and underlying pathways are ill understood.


There is great potential in leveraging daylight and electric light to enhance the quality of life. The evidence collected to date underlines its relevance in care environments, schools and offices, in retail and on the street. But more research is needed, as the empirical data is at times inconsistent and –as suggested- underlying mechanisms are insufficiently understood. Some


environments, for instance homes, have received only scant attention tot date (Veitch, 2011). Moreover, there may be numerous undiscovered and unexplored uses. One example is a project we started only very recently. It investigates possibilities to defuse aggressive escalations through dynamic light scenarios. Important components often implicated in aggressions and escalation include negative affect, high arousal, an egocentric/antisocial and narrow attention focus and tendency to act on first impulses, reduced self-awareness and a loss of self-control. Contextual and technological means to defuse escalation have only received scarce attention, even though current theories of aggression (e.g., Berkowitz, 1993; Anderson & Bushman, 2002) assign a crucial role to situational stimuli determining whether or not an individual will engage in an aggressive response. Light presents a potential contextual means to impact mood, arousal and many of the components of escalating behaviour. Darkness is said to facilitate aggression against other individuals (e.g., Page & Moss, 1976), although absolute darkness was also reported to facilitate affection and sharing of intimacy between complete strangers (Gergen, Gergen & Barton 1973). Light has been related to many of the components of aggression above. The project will therefore develop and test mechanisms for de-escalation through light: lowering arousal levels, inducing positively valenced mood, shifting and broadening attention, facilitating social behaviour, increasing self-awareness, and enhancing self-control. Light scenarios will first be tested in controlled laboratory settings, then translated to and evaluated in real-life escalationprone locations designated as Living Labs. This is just one example of an innovative potential application of light.

Light is crucial for a healthy entrainment of our biological clock. Experts in the field agree that it affects circadian rhythms “more powerfully than any drug”. –Czeisler 2013–


These are exciting times in the light domain: technology is developing at a revolutionary speed, offering ever more flexible and versatile production of light; concerns about energy usage are voiced more strongly every day; new insights in the many mechanisms underlying light’s impact on health and wellbeing are


produced on a daily basis. But the theme is wide and complex. The light domain is populated by researchers from a wide range of disciplines – vision science, neuroscience, biology and medicine, illumination engineering, architecture, interior and lighting design. And then there’s the occasional psychologist - but frankly, their role has been modest; too modest, as Jennifer Veitch and myself argue in our upcoming guest editorial for the Journal of Environmental Psychology (de Kort & Veitch, 2014). Lighting presents an incredibly rich theme to study: one that touches on health, performance, and behaviour change, one that combines fundamental and applied research, one that involves psychology, biology, physics, and design. The design of environments that maintain and foster human wellbeing requires the careful consideration of visual, biological, and psychological lighting needs. Environmental psychologists traditionally work in a multidisciplinary domain and generally embrace input from numerous disciplines. Environmental psychology, as Gifford (2009, p. 389) states “the only part of [psychology] that seriously engages research, theory, and practice concerned with the built and natural environment”, should be uniquely equipped to push the light and lighting domain forward. So this is an invitation to you and our entire community to get inspired and get involved. For those who want to learn more, I would like to suggest two topical and – hopefully – attractive ways to get introduced to the domain. First is the upcoming special issue on Light and lighting design for the Journal of Environmental Psychology. An issue with contributions by authors both from within and outside our domain on a wide range of relevant topics. Second is Experiencing Light 2014, an international two-day scientific conference that will bring together recent insights into the effects of light and lighting design on human wellbeing, organized in Eindhoven this fall (http:// www.experiencinglight.nl/). You may just be seeing things is a new light ;) Ferrucci, Ricardo García Mira, Corina Ilin, Roderick J. Lawrence; Derya Oktay, Jennifer Senick, Hülya Turgut.


References • Alvaro P. K., Roberts, R. M., & Harris J. K. A. (2013). Systematic review assessing bidirectionality between sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression. Sleep, 36, 10591068.

• de Kort, Y. A. W. & Veitch, J. A. (in press). From blind spot into the spotlight. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

• Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 27–51.

• Smolders, K. C. H. J., de Kort, Y. A. W. & van den Berg, S. (2013). Diurnal light exposure and feelings of vitality: Results of a field study during regular weekdays. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 270-279.

• Alvarez, G. G. & Ayas, N. T. (2004). The impact of daily sleep duration on health: a review of the literature. Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing, Spring, 19, 56-59.

• Baron, R. A., Rea, M. S., & Daniels, S. G. (1992). Effects of indoor lighting (illuminance and spectral distribution) on the performance of cognitive tasks and interpersonal behaviors: The potential mediating role of positive affect. Motivation and Emotion, 16, 1-33. • Berkowitz, L. (1993). Pain and aggression: Some findings and implications. Motivation and Emotion, 17, 277–293.

• Beute, F. & de Kort, Y. A.W. (2014). Salutogenic Effects of the Environment: Review of Health Protective Effects of Nature and Daylight. Applied Psychology: Health and WellBeing, 6 (1), 67–95. • Boyce, P. R. (2003). Human factors in lighting (2nd ed.). London, England: Taylor & Francis.

• Nikunen, H. & Korpela, K.M. (2012). The effect of scene contents and focus of light on perceived restorativeness, fear, and preference in nightscapes. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 55, 453-468. • Smolders, K. C. H. J., de Kort, Y. A. W. & Cluitmans, P. J. M. (2012). A higher illuminance induces alertness even during office hours: findings on subjective measures, task performance and heart rate measures. Physiology & Behavior, 107, 7-16.

• Stephenson, K. M., Schroder, C. M., Bertschy, G. & Bourgin, P. (2012). Complex interaction of circadian and non-circadian effects of light on mood: Shedding new light on an old story. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 16, 445-454. • Vandewalle, G., Maquet, P., & Dijk, D. J. (2009). Light as a modulator of cognitive brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 429–438.

• Czeisler, C. A. (2013) Perspective: Casting light on sleep deficiency. Nature, 497, S13.

• Veitch, J. A. (2011). The physiological and psychological effects of windows, daylight, and view at home. 4th VELUX Daylight Symposium, Lausanne, Switzerland, May 4-5, 2011, pp. 1-6. (NRCC-54002).

• Haans, A. & de Kort, Y. A. W. (2012). Light distribution in dynamic street lighting: Two experimental studies on its effects on perceived safety, prospect, concealment, and escape. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32, 342-352.

• Zhong, C.-B., Bohns, V. K., & Gino, F. (2010). Good lamps are the best police: Darkness increases dishonesty and self-interested behavior. Psychological Science, 21, 311-314.

• Gifford, R. (1988). Light, decor, arousal, comfort and communication. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 8, 177-189.

• Veitch, J. A., Stokkermans, M. G. M., & Newsham, G. R. (2013). Linking lighting appraisals to work behaviors. Environment and Behavior, 45, 198-214.



2. Research report: Between representation and self-perception. What kind of energy citizenship in Italy? ENERGY TRANSITION AS SYSTEM TRANSITION Mauro Sarrica. mauro.sarrica@uniroma1.it Sonia Brondi. sonia.brondi@uniroma1.it Mihaela Gavrila. mihaela.gavrila@uniroma1.it Martina Ferrucci. martina.ferrucci@uniroma1.it Department of Communication and Social Research Sapienza, University of Rome

Transition towards sustainable energy is largely recognised as one of the main challenges faced by the world today. ‘Low-carbon’, ‘zero-emissions’, ‘new-renewables’, ‘smartgrids’ are among the keywords often evoked in public discourses; however, less consensus has been reached on the role that citizens shall play in this ongoing transition. Shall they remain consumers or shall they become active producers? Shall they delegate to experts or shall they become more active and conscious? Aim of this short essay is to outline how the relationship between citizens and sustainable energy has been socially constructed in Italy: a country that saw a steady increase in the use of renewables and that is reaching in the 2020 targets in all the sectors involved (electric, thermal, and transport). First, we will sketch results from analyses of political discourse and communication strategies. Then, we will explore the ways in which citizens perceive themselves, and how different self-images affect social representations of sustainable energy and related practices. In the next sections, before we present our studies, critical issues on energy transition will be briefly introduced.

An energy transition can be defined either as “the switch from an economic system dependent on one or a series of energy sources and technologies to another” (Fouquet & Pearson, 2012, p.1), or as “a shift in the nature or pattern of how energy is utilized within a system. This definition recognizes change associated with fuel type, access, sourcing, delivery, reliability, or end use as well as with the overall orientation of the system.” (Araújo, 2014, p.3). Together with economic and technical advances, however, historical research shows that “previous energy transitions have involved significant cultural and societal shifts. As well as helping the availability of new technologies and emergence of associated actors, governments may well have a role in stimulating the cultural and social conditions of a low carbon transition.” (Fouquet & Pearson, 2012, p.4). That is where social sciences play an instrumental role: in recognising the human dimensions of energy use (Stern & Aronson, 1984) and in addressing energy issues also “as a product of social and cultural factors on collective rather than individual terms” (Sovacool, 2014, p.26). In this regards, socio-technical approaches describe several transition pathways that are determined by the relationship between incumbent regimes, niche-innovations and exogenous societal contexts (Geels & Schot, 2007). In technological substitution, for example, conflicts emerge between niche players – who enter the market thanks to sudden changes in the context – and regime actors who try to defend their role and status. In reconfiguration dynamic, on the contrary, innovations “have symbiotic relations with the regime, they can be easily adopted as add-on or component replacement. These adoptions are driven by economic considerations: (improve performance, solve small problems),



leaving most regime rules unchanged” (Geels & Schot, 2007, p.411). Socioconstructivist perspectives advise to look at ongoing discourses on transition to understand if the system is pointing towards reconfiguration of the hegemonic system or towards more radical transformation (Dryzek, 1997). In particular, social representations approach suggests to focus on the meaning making processes that lay behind new policies, on the role of mediating systems, and on the way individuals and communities receive new policy and technological innovations (Castro & Mouro, 2011; Devine-Wright, 2007). DEFICIT VS. CAPABILITIES VIEWS OF THE CITIZENS

In this short essay – in order to understand system transition pathways – we look in particular at change and stability in the representations of citizens. Probably, the most influential dichotomy in this regard is the confrontation between deficit and capabilities views (Barnett, Burningham, Walker & Cass, 2010; Cotton & Devine-Wright, 2010; Walker & Cass, 2007). Deficit views of the citizens contribute to all those policies that assume the citizen lacks knowledge, interest or cognitive abilities to understand energy issues and shall thus be treated as a customer or a selfish consumer. Consonant with this view are, for example, incentive based policies that focus on technical and economic advantages without fostering public involvement or cultural growth. Capabilities views of the citizens stand at the opposite pole and can be summarised by the ideal prototype of the energy citizen, “a view of the public that emphasizes awareness of responsibility for climate change... and the potential for (collective) energy actions, including acts of consumption and the setting up of community renewable energy projects” (DevineWright, 2007, p.72). In sum, the deficitcapabilities thema is consonant with alternative views of energy transition, the former based on technological and regulatory principles, the second based on a deep transformation of the way individuals are seen and see themselves in the society.

In this sense, social representations of citizens provide relevant insights not only on the way the current transition is unfolding, but also on alternative views of democracy and participation.


How are the citizens imagined in the Italian political discourse? A first insight on societal discourse comes from the analyses of Italian parliamentary debates on sustainable energy during the years 2009-2012. A total of N=183 parliamentary debates were submitted to thematic content analysis. In particular, the codes used to classify the different views of citizen were: consumer (i.e. the passive energy user), access (i.e. a customer that has/ has not full access to the market and to the supplies), environmentally concerned (i.e. someone concerned about environmental issues at large), and energy citizen (i.e. someone who is active and conscious) (Devine-Wright, 2007). Results show that the citizens are mainly viewed in relation to individual capability to gain access to energy market and/or energy supply (N=465 coding references, 48.4%), or – secondarily – as passive consumers (N=248, 25.8%). The view of citizens as energy citizens is also present, even if with lower frequencies (N=222, 23.1%); nonetheless, it is worth nothing that this view has frequently a negative connotation. Politicians often perceive the energy citizenship more as an obstacle to top-down decisions on energy policies than as a fruitful opportunity (see Extract 1 below). Finally, the view of the citizens as environmentally concerned is almost absent (N=25, 2.6%). Extract 1: “We also witness contestations by citizens who, perhaps even partly misinformed, don’t want the presence of a biomass power station”. (Motion) The views of citizens slightly change over time. In 2009, 2010, and 2012 the access of customers to the market is the prevailing issue: this is assured trough top-down initiatives such as economic incentives and discount on fares. Only in 2011 – concurrently with the national referendum against nuclear power – the focus moves toward a more active and engaged idea of citizen. Moreover, only the members of the party who promoted IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014

the referendum favour arguments about energy citizenship. Summing up, policy makers and key informants propose a view of the citizens as lacking knowledge, capacities or interest into energy issues. On the one hand, citizens lack agency because – although aware and sensitive – they cannot gain a complete access to energy supplies (because they are too expensive) or to the energy market (due to the bureaucratic machine). On the other hand, in political discourse, when citizens are active they lack consciousness: when individuals act against centralized decisions it is because they are not sufficiently informed. These patterns are constructed in a manner that preclude citizens engagement and hinder the development of a proper energy citizenship, both by constraining individual and community actions to the acceptance or the refusal of top-down decisions, and by leaving little room for community empowerment and bottomup innovation.


Probably, the most clear and recent answer to this question in Italy is provided by the attempt to develop new nuclear plans for Italy, and the success of antinuclear grassroots movement (that had its apex with the victory of the anti-nuclear referendum in June 2011). This case shows moreover other issues lying behind energy conflicts: plans to deprive democratic institutions and grassroots attempts to recover new spaces for democracy. As regards normative acts, it shall be noticed that the decision to build new nuclear plants was introduced only after the political elections, and it was introduced as an article in decree laws on “Urgent disposition for economic development, simplification, competitiveness [...]”. The communicative strategy adopted by the government was top-down oriented as well: an official communicative campaign mainstream media on the economic advantages and security of nuclear. On the opposite side, antinuclear movement developed new forms of commitment that contrast with nonalignment and selfish trends that are


deemed typical of post-democracy (Crouch, 2004). Communicative strategies were opposite to the governmental one as well: these grassroots movements found on social-network a model of discursive organization and a veritable cultural ethos. Referendum issues, in fact, were not covered by mainstream media as much as they were by Italian Internet users. During the ten days preceding the Fukushima disaster (from the 1st to the 10th of March 2011) the number of messages about nuclear issue on Internet (blogs, forums and discussion groups) did not exceed 900 units per day. For several days from the day of the accident (March the 11th), there was a peak of discussions on nuclear, over 4,000 according to Buzz Metrics from Nielsen. A new increase was detected starting from May the 28th, with a significant flow of queries on the search engine. And a new peak happened between the 5th and the 18th of June, that is when the referendum took place. As a result, in 2011 nuclear issues were at the fifth place among the queries typed by Google users, and they were absolutely the most debated topics on Facebook. According to Memology, the Facebook service that tracks discussions happening on the social networks, the ‘Referendum quorum’ was at the first place among the status updated in 2011 followed, on the sixth place, by the earthquake and the nuclear disaster in Japan. In sum, civic engagement on social network, as the tireless word-of-mouth that has been practiced, compensated for the lacunae left by mainstream media. Probably, the sensitivity to the nuclear issue was affected also by the human and natural disaster happened in Fukushima. But the opinion of Italians were not exclusively determined by the earthquake in Japan but by an intense dialogue that happened also on social media.

“How long will we have energy supplies? Until 2040? Okay, in 2039 I will think about it!” –P.M. 26 years–


How do publics generally perceive the energy issue? And how do the people conceive themselves as energy users? A first answer to these questions is provided by the contents emerged from five focus groups aimed also at investigating if and how environment


and energy issues are considered in everyday life (each focus included 5 to 8 participants, aged between 19 and 65 years). Scientific literature suggests that Italy is trapped into an ‘anomaly’: on the one hand, environment and energy are associated with calamity and natural disaster; on the other, they are synonymous with landscape, chauvinism and common goods (Della Seta, 2000). As a result, environmental issues remain as unimportant and invisible issues for most of the time. Our respondents, despite their young age, seem to be socialised to this anomaly: People are not interested in these issues, because of a cultural lag. According to Italians, the environment is just an instrument, it is not like in other countries. (L. - M - 19 years). This anomaly is reflected in the words used by respondents who reveal to be interested in these themes only in times of crisis or emergency. When the situation is calm, energy issues are neither strategic nor a priority, they affect everyone but not immediately. You have to wait for a crisis to discuss about energy. How long will we have energy supplies? Until 2040? Okay, in 2039 I will think about it! (P. - M - 26 years). The issue is relevant of course, however, if you put it on television you’ll have only limited audience. Because it is boring for the public, unless there is a tragedy... (M. - F - 25 years) Energy loses its appeal without the narrative frame of the disaster, and assumes the traits of a niche topic for few interested people. After having long been a vegetarian, I became vegan and so I started to read up on environment and energy. I would not have done it before. (L. - F - 21 years). On these grounds, users seem to perceive themselves mainly as disempowered and completely unrelated to the processes of energy. I know nothing about energy. It is absent from media and from public debate. At least, I know nothing. Maybe there is some advertising... (G. - M - 22 years). However, in depth analysis of the points of view expressed by the respondents detects also early signs of a slow but inexorable cultural change. Risks of pollution or natural disaster


pushed our participants to actively search for information, and in a way, contributed to the development of a critical consciousness on the topic: However, today, there is more interest in the environment. Disasters built new considerations on environment and energy. (G. - F - 55 years). According to the participants, the transformation of the system seems thus to start from the awareness that, today, energy is closely linked to the concept of ‘crisis’ (economic, environmental, etc.). And if ‘crisis’, that etymologically means decision, choice, distinction and thus transition from a previous situation to a new one, was used so often by the participants, it could be interpreted as a signal to indicate a cultural transformation that is re-defining the way in which energy is framed. HOW DO ENERGY USERS VIEW THEMSELVES TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE?

Is there a relationship between self-representation endorsed by citizens, representations of sustainable energy, and sustainable behaviours? In order to explore this last question, we invited a convenience sample of young-adults (N=150, age range 20-35) to answer open-ended questions about the most important characteristics of energy users at the present day and in the future, a free association task to the word-stimulus “sustainable energy”, close-ended questions about individual energy behaviours of production and saving. Participants can be grouped in four groups according to the answers to open-ended questions on energy users ‘of today’ and ‘of tomorrow’ (Table 1). The first group gathers respondents (N=25) who share a stereotypical view: they see themselves as passive and deficient (e.g. ‘ignorant’, ‘selfish’, ‘a consumer’, ‘waster’) and maintain this negative view also imagining their role in the future (e.g. ‘it will be the same’, ‘a client’, ‘not conscious’). Respondents (N=81) of the second group shares an optimistic view: today they accept for themselves the deficit thema as the former group, but these respondents believe their role will positively change in the future (e.g. ‘informed’, ‘aware’, ‘responsible’). A third group (N=17) is characterised by counter-stereotypical beliefs: these participants think of themselves as more informed and active today (e.g. ‘careful’, ‘up to date’, ‘informed’) and keep this positive view also when imagining their role in the future. Finally, a small minority (N=2) take a pessimistic stance: these respondents believe that today energy user are more active and

TOMORROW Energy users will be…

conscious than they will be tomorrow (e.g. ‘totally dependent’, ‘defenceless’). A specificity analysis of the free association task shows that each group significantly associates specific terms to ‘sustainable energy’ that point to different versions of sustainability (Schweizer-Ries, 2013). The stereotypical group looks at sustainable energy through the eyes of weak sustainability: they evoke more frequently than other groups (p <.05) terms that suggest the belief of a scientific resolution to sustainability issues – such as ‘research’ ‘unlimited’, ‘less_environmental_impact’, ‘clean’, ‘environmental damage’, and ‘global warming’– and they refer to elements that are missing and that hinder agency – such as ‘will’ and ‘investments’. The optimistic group looks at the sustainable energy as a change that will arrive thanks to a profound individual change, in this they are more keen to integrated sustainability: they evoke significantly more than others terms such as ‘future’, ‘consciousness’, ‘ecologic’, ‘environmental_respect’, ‘essential’. Participants of the counter-stereotypical group – more than the others – associate to ‘sustainable energy’ terms that relate to strong sustainability, ant that point to conservation of the natural environment, and to efficiency, sufficiency and equity in use and distribution of resources: terms significantly more evoked are ‘eco-sustainable’, ‘sustainable_development’, ‘saving’, ‘alternative_energy’, ‘photovoltaic_panels’. Last, the small pessimistic group brings to the forefront the power issues: they associate to sustainable energy terms such as ‘economy’, ‘solar_power’, ‘wind_power’. TODAY Energy users are…

Passive and Deficient

Active and Concious

Passive and Deficient



Active and Concious



Table 1: Note. N=25 participants did not answer or gave other answers (e.g. ‘everyone’). IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014


Finally, the different selfrepresentations of energy users are related also to individual energy behaviours. Only respondents belonging to the counter-stereotypical group (30.0% and 18.8% respectively) and the optimistic group (60.0% and 75.0% respectively) declared that they recently installed a solar panel or other kind of renewables in their houses or lands, or that they changed to a green energy tariff for their home.

strategies. As a result, it is precisely those citizens who resist to deficit thema and who develop counter-stereotypical and optimistic representations of themselves who share stronger vision of energy sustainability and who enact new energy behaviours and more conscious behaviours. A critical reflection on the complex of the data briefly sketched suggests that deep dynamics of power are stressing the incumbent socio-technical system. The permanence of deficit thema among decision-makers and mainstream media, and the way in which the nuclear revival was conceived and introduced may be interpreted as a political strategy aimed at preserving the system, and at using socio-technical functional devices to drain the public discussion arenas and to squeeze the margins of civic dialogue. Our data thus indicate that on the one hand the system is trying to react to exogenous changes through reconfiguration strategies, that is by integrating new technologies and preserving internal relationships between actors. On the other hand, the anti-nuclear commitment and the development of counterstereotypical selves contrast this process of preventive confiscation of democracy by promoting an instance of democratic energy. This alternative representation, that already produced a breakthrough of communicative and symbolic nature, may eventually lead to a radical transformation of the system as well as to a full transition toward strong or even integrated approaches to sustainable energy.


In this essay we aimed to underline the necessity for a systemic approach to energy transition, and we suggest that the way in which citizens are conceived and represent themselves play a pivotal role in fostering or hindering different visions of energy sustainability. Results suggest that political discourses, policies, and communicative strategies are still moved by a shared representation of the citizens organised according to the deficit thema largely described in scientific literature. However, citizens react differently to this threatening self-image. Even if this deficit vision seems to be accepted, cues of cultural changes are emerging. Economic and environmental crises seem to be crucial in this regard, as they require a radical transformation of the system, and thus put into question the established relationship between decision makers and the passive public. Moreover, social media provide voice to niche players and a network model able to contrast top-down communicative and policy

References • Araújo, K. (2014). The emerging field of energy transitions: Progress, challenges, and opportunities. Energy Research &Social Science. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2014.03.002

• Dryzek J. (1997). The Politics of the Earth. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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• Schweizer-Ries, P. (2013). Sustainability science and its contribution to iaps: seeking for integrated sustainability. IAPS Bulletin, 40, 9-12.

• Barnett, J., Burningham, K., Walker, G., & Cass, N. (2010). Imagined publics and engagement around renewable energy technologies in the UK. Public Understanding of Science, 21(1), 36–50. doi:10.1177/0963662510365663 • Cotton, M., & Devine-Wright, P. (2010). Making electricity networks “visible”: Industry actor representations of “publics” and public engagement in infrastructure planning. Public Understanding of Science, 21(1), 17–35. doi:10.1177/0963662510362658 • Crouch, C. (2004). Post-Democracy. Cambridge: Polity.

• Dalla Seta, R. (2000). La difesa dell’ambiente in Italia. Storia e cultura del movimento ecologista. Milano: Franco Angeli. • Devine-Wright, P. (2007). Energy Citizenship: Psychological Aspects of Evolution in Sustainable Energy Technologies. In J. Murphy (Ed.), Governing Technology for Sustainability (pp. 63–86). London: Earthscan.

• Fouquet, R., & Pearson, P.J.G. (2012). Past and prospective energy transitions: Insights from history. Energy Policy, 50, 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2012.08.014

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• Sovacool, B.K. (2014). What are we doing here? Analyzing fifteen years of energy scholarship and proposing a social science research agenda. Energy Research and Social Science, 1(1), . • Stern, P.C., & Aronson, E. (1984). Energy use: the human dimension. New York: Freeman & Co.

• Walker, G., & Cass, N. (2007). Carbon reduction, “the public” and renewable energy: engaging with socio-technical configurations. Area, 39(4), 458–469. doi:10.1111/j.14754762.2007.00772.x



3. Research report: Food Services in the Inselspital (Insel Hospital) a Benefit Analysis «GINA» Barbara Degenhardt School of Applied Psychology barbara.degenhardt@fhnw.ch

This paper is an extended abstract of a full research report on the Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Personnel Restaurants for Employees and Companies,available online at http:// www.fhnw.ch/aps/ifk/ifk-projekte/aktuelle-projekte/ginagastroraeume-inselspital-nutzenanalyse/gina-gastroraeumeinselspital-nutzenanalyse, written by B. Degenhardt, L. Burri, L. Gisin& H. Schulze (2014). The work with patients in a hospital counts as one of the most demanding occupations which carries a great deal of responsibility. A resource-oriented design perspective is necessary for maintaining in a lasting way the commitment and performance of the different groups who are employed there, such as the nurses, doctors, or the administrative staff. The possibilities provided and personal capabilities for committed execution of a job and opportunities for recuperation during and after work are increasingly becoming central requirements. A majority of scientific studies have concerned themselves with short breaks during work hours and/or with recovery processes after work. The contribution of personnel restaurants as typically integral parts of voluntary employee benefits of companies has seldom been examined. The study presented here focuses attention on the psychological function of restaurants in the work and in recovery from the work in hospitals. In cooperation with the management of the Inselspital (Insel Hospital) and the Institute for Cooperation Research and Development of the University of Applied Psychology FHNW, investigations were made into what different employee groups demand of their restaurants, how they use the different personnel restaurants and which psychological benefits of restaurants can be empirically

verified. The university hospital Inselspital, with its almost 9,700 employees, is one of the largest hospitals in Switzerland. The various buildings of the enterprise are spread out over a connected area of approximately 2.1 square kilometers (1.3 square miles) in the country’s capital city of Bern (see the area map in Chapter 2.1). There are 8 company restaurants (7 with service and 1 self-service), which are particularly different in their interior design, furnishings and food offerings (see Chap. 2.2; Figure 49). In the following section the essential findings of this project are summarized for a quick overview. COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF HOW PERSONNEL RESTAURANTS ARE USED IN THE INSELSPITAL

This research project is divided into three phases (see Chap. 1.2, 3.0, 4.1): in the first phase (Pilot study), perspectives on the restaurant operations were recorded. In a second phase (Study 1), patterns of utilisation of the 8 personnel restaurants in the Inselspital were observed, in November, 2012. A total of 238 observations, including short interviews, were carried out. In the third phase (Study 2), the demands and needs which had been identified, the ways the restaurants were used, and influential factors and potential effects were quantified in the framework of a questionnaire distributed from the middle of April to the beginning of May, 2013. A total of 1,307 people participated in the questioning, making up about 14% of the 9,700 employees. 95% (n = 1177) of the study participants’ questionnaires could be used for the analysis, which yielded a middle to very high rate of customary user needs. From this it can therefore be assumed that the data recorded for the patterns of utilisation in breaks and in the Insel restaurants during the 4 weeks of the study reflect typical use of the people questioned. The findings can be categorized as extensively representative for the Inselspital employees, since the sample of customary users or regular users corresponds in essential characteristics, such as in the number of women and men, or in the distribution of age, with the characteristics of the Inselspital’s staff. Also the proportion of doctors and nurses in Study 2 corresponds closely with that of the overall staff.



The 8 Insel restaurants, which are particularly diverse in their interior design, furnishings and food offerings, have important meaning for their regular customers as a part of the enterprise’s food service and break infrastructure, both for short and long breaks, such as quick breaks in between, or for the snacks „Znüni“and „Zvieri“, or for midday lunch. The Insel restaurants are second only to the work station as the most frequent place for a short break, one time to several times a day, thus used more frequently than the break rooms available in the hospital (see Chap. 3.2). For a third of these regular visitors, however, the current break infrastructure of the company is unsatisfactory, since there is either no break room or coffee corner, or what is available is unsatisfactorily equipped (see Fig. 5). Regular customers visit their preferred chosen restaurant for 11-30 minutes and join groups of 3-4 people, who are most usually professional colleagues out of one’s own department or team. The restaurant users questioned had gone in the previous 4 weeks most often to the Insel restaurants STELLA, GIARDINO and SOLE. With regard to the professional groups, the first impression is that the STELLA has the most mixed clientele. The nursing personnel report that they primarily use the DONNA, the SOLE, the GIARDINO, the CENTRO and the AUTOMAT RESTAURANT S1 without service. Interestingly, the AUTOMAT RESTAURANT is almost predominantly (68.3%) chosen by this group as the place for a break, whereby the nurses do make up the largest number of personnel in the Inselspital. It is in addition one of the smallest spaces among the Insel restaurants and is the only one that is accessible exclusively to employees with a locking card. Administrative employees report that they predominantly visit the PANORAMA and the GIARDINO. In comparison with other professional groups, the doctors dominate as clientele of the LUNA, which is open during the evening and night hours.

To get something to eat or drink was the most decisive reason of the largest majority (88.6%) for visiting an Insel restaurant. To sit down and rest dominated next as a reason, and the social exchange during the restaurant visit. The majority (56.8%) stated that they used the time for private conversation as well as for informal work discussions (45.1%). This indicates that the Insel restaurants are used above all for regeneration and for social exchange, which includes work discussions.


Regeneration/recovery represents a first clear category of need for an Insel restaurant visit (see Chapter 4.7). The general need for recovery in taking a break from work (42% of the responses) therefore stands out as a central motive. The need for social exchange represents a second central needs category, where the needs for social exchange (34.6%) or for cultivating social contacts (31%) were the most mentioned by all groups of users. It became evident in the in-depth analyses that social exchange was on the one hand associated with the need for recovery, in that such an exchange with colleagues offered a chance to refrain from working for a short time. On the other hand, informal work discussions and exchanges about topics relevant to work were also named as separate needs. The need for social exchange therefore contains individual needs for refreshing breaks with conversation and for informal exchanges about work. Interestingly, the primary needs for use of Insel restaurants among the major professional groups differ only in nuance. Social needs were named by the doctors ahead of general recovery needs as their major reasons for visiting the Insel restaurants. In contrast, the user groups of nurses, administrative staff and medical-technical personnel unanimously gave general recovery needs as their major reason, and social needs followed only after that. Summarising, and corresponding with the use of the Insel restaurants as places of recovery and informal knowledge IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014

exchange, general individual recovery needs and social needs constitute the central major needs for a visit to the restaurants with and without service.


Quick access, quality of the food offerings, acquired habits, possibilities for social contacts with colleagues, and the quality of service make up the 5 central criteria for decisions about visiting the 8 Insel restaurants (see Chap. 4.8.1). If the reasons for deciding about the individual restaurants are compared, a basic profile becomes noticeable, which will be expanded with 3 supplementary profiles (see Chap. 4.8.2; Fig. 7). The basic profile is characterised by quick access, a high quality food offering with short waiting times and opportunities for collegial gettogethers. The supplementary profiles are distinguished by a good view and a special ambience (Supplementary Profile PANORAMA restaurant), by a self-organised and reasonably priced setting (Supplementary Profile AUTOMAT RESTAURANT S1) as well as by special quality in the food offerings (Supplementary Profile SOLE and LUNA). Increasing importance is attributed to the criterion “friendly service“ through two of the supplementary profiles. DIFFERENCES IN THE EVALUATION OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN IN THE INSEL RESTAURANTS

On the whole, the evaluations of the Insel restaurants lie with M = 3.5 in a positive mid-field (see Chap. 4.9.1). The interior design of the PANORAMA was by far liked the best, that of the AUTOMAT RESTAURANT S1 the least. Women, who make up the majority of the employees by 75%, generally give a worse evaluation of the restaurants’ interior design than the men. The second largest age group in the Inselspital, the user group between 41-60 years of age, tended to give a worse evaluation of the interior design than the other age groups. Newly arrived employees liked the interior design of their preferred chosen restaurant better than users who had already worked 6-10 years


in the Inselspital. People in training or students as well as doctors liked the interior design better than people in other groups. The nurses, who make up the largest professional group in the Inselspital, liked the interiors significantly less (see Chap. 4.9.3). This evaluation pattern could possibly be connected with the fact that the level of individual expectations toward interior design rises with the amount of time spent in the Inselspital, or that how it suits personal needs for breaks becomes more differentiated over time and therefore is more critically judged. It would be conceivable that in the course of time spent in the Inselspital, the interior design would be less compared to what is available in other hospitals and seen more in relation to its suitability to personal expectations for breaks. Viewed on the whole, central Insel restaurant users’ expectations about interiors, for instance those of the women or the nurses, could be better taken into account in order to meet the goal of greater suitability of interior design for the primary users. The choice of break location is connected with the amount of workload

and has an influence on well-being and health. The analysis delivers indications that the well-being and with it the health of the employees are also connected with the locations chosen for breaks (see Chap. 4.10.4). Thus a statistically significant connection is found between the amount of work demand experienced and the selected workplace. The greater the reported workload and the more irregularly breaks were taken, the more often the workplace was used as a break location. In addition, those employees who had used the break rooms as (short) break locations reported somewhat worse general health and less vitality in the previous 4 weeks. Opposite to these Insel employees’ reports, those who spent their breaks in the outdoor area of the Insel hospital grounds reported less work demand and perceived their breaks to be more refreshing (and the other way around). Since this issue is based on correlations, assumptions about cause-effect relationship cannot be established. Two interpretations present themselves: for one, a heavy workload can lead to the fact that breaks are taken more irregularly and more often right at the workplace. The distance to the IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014

Insel restaurants or to an outdoor area seems too far, or the break too short, and the resulting quality of recovery is minimal due to insufficient detachment. An alternative interpretation might be that seeking out an outdoor space and an Insel restaurant in itself has a compensating and therefore stressreducing function. The quality of personnel restaurants’ interior design has an influence on well-being and commitment to the company The analysis provides indications that the health of the employees also has a positive correlation with the perceived quality of the interior design of the company’s food service areas. Thus small and medium correlations are found in the study between individual emotional and physical work demands and the evaluation of the interior design of the Insel restaurants (see Chap. 4.10.1). For example, the groups of doctors and the medical-technical personnel place value on the fact that they like the interior design of the Insel restaurants, which is associated with a stronger sense of psychological well-being (see Chap. 4.10.2). The correlation between work demands and the perceived quality


of the interior design is positive for people who spend a lot of time sitting down at work. However, for people with burdensome emotional work and with burdensome conditions in their workplace environment, this correlation is negative. From this it can be concluded that visiting personnel restaurants does function as compensation for work demands, but that this can still be improved for certain kinds of workload. A further, somewhat positive correlation between the perceived quality of interior design and the emotional commitment of the employees to the Inselspital could be determined. That is, the employees probably value the efforts of their employers in interior design and consequently evaluate the attractiveness of the employer more highly. General design recommendations for company-owned personnel restaurants and break locations Recommendations for the general design of personnel restaurants can be derived from the results of both of these empirical studies on the use potential of the 8 Insel restaurants, which are different in their locations, and especially in their interior design, furnishings and food offerings. These recommendations will be formulated in the following text. • A decentralised location is important for personnel restaurants, canteens, and cafeterias. Quick accessibility on foot from the workplace was named as the essential criterion for the choice of which Insel restaurant to visit. Depending upon the size of the company and the break rules (and thus the available break length and frequency), this can mean that several decentralised personnel restaurants distributed throughout the premises should be offered. • High quality of the food sold and what food is offered are important reasons to use a personnel restaurant. To get something to eat and/or to drink are the most frequently performed activities in the personnel restaurants. In addition, the quality of the food and what food is offered are the most important reasons for deciding to choose a certain Insel restaurant over the others. Thus the quality and offerings of the food and drinks being sold were the main reason for deciding to use the personnel restaurants

The quality of personnel restaurants’ interior design has an influence on well-being and commitment to the company.


in Expanded Profiles 2 and 3. The desires for improvement expressed in the short interviews of Study 1 indicated a similar tendency. With regard to the snack automats of the AUTOMAT RESTAURANT, for instance, the suggestions for improvement expressed were to offer a broader range of food and more fruit, and not “only“ offer “unhealthy“ snacks. Likewise, a similar wish was also expressed for the CENTRO, conceived above all as a takeaway restaurant, for a larger selection of salads. The two following statements from two interviews also illustrate the importance of the food offerings of personnel restaurants: “LUNA: Has to stay. So valuable and unique. In other hospitals there’s no food after 8 p.m.! Terribly important!“ “Wish: that the food quality and range stays the same and doesn’t decline -> as appreciation for night work, (un) paid overtime.“ • Possibilities of getting something to eat or drink and of “picnicing“ with others in personnel restaurants facilitate social exchange and social cohesion in the workforce. The most frequent users are small groups of 3 to 4 people. Within these small groups the percentage of people in training or studying is on the average 28.3%, of whom in turn most belong to the professional groups of doctors (27.5%) and nurses (23.4%). The social exchange about private matters and work plays a big role during an Insel restaurant stay. Bringing their own food enables people in an early phase of their career to establish a social connection with their own team/group and strengthens social cohesion. Also, the most important decision criterion for the use of the automat restaurant— being able to bring one’s own food— points to both individual eating preferences as well as the relevance of economic considerations in the choice of a (midday) break location. Several criticisms or suggestions for improvement expressed in Study 1 are related to the pricing and the desire for more socially acceptable prices (as examples, employee discounts also in the CENTRO; bread too expensive, prices too high for simple dishes such as pasta in the SOLE). • Faster service with shorter waiting times and friendly service are similarly


important for the visit to a personnel restaurant. Faster service was named three times and friendlier service named four times among the top 5 criteria for making a choice about a visit to a favorite Insel restaurant. Faster service was even the second most important reason for choosing the CENTRO for a break. These responses indicate demands for quality of the service provided. • The kind of interior and exterior design is important for the utilisation rate of personnel restaurants. The features of the interior and outdoor space quality of the restaurants comprised with 46.6% the second most important needs category relevant to making a decision in the choice of the different Insel restaurants. Participants were asked about 14 concrete features as to their relevance in decision-making. Their importance for decisions about use also shows in Study 1, where interviewees independently pointed out 48 new facets of interior and exterior space which they weighed for making their individual Insel restaurant choice. The most important space-related motivator proved to be the characteristics of the adjoining outdoor space “view/panorama, view into the distance/into nature“. Spatial conditions and subjectively experienced spatial density (enough free seats/tables, having room/space around me), lighting conditions (e.g. brightness, glare, daylight), the level of noise as well as a cozy or relaxed atmosphere are further important space features which influence the choice of personnel restaurant. Above all, the fact that the Insel restaurant Expanded Profile 1 PANORAMA was specifically identified reflected how conscious the importance of a spatially attractive personnel restaurant is in the process of making a choice. This is also supported by the fact that the three Insel restaurants PANORAMA, AUTOMAT RESTAURANT and CENTRO are located in the same part of the building and because of that have easy accessibility in common. • Conscious interior and exterior design oriented toward the needs of central user groups is important. This would have a positive effect on economic factors of the company. Personnel

restaurants are frequently an aspect of the voluntary company social benefits of businesses. The analyses of the Insel restaurant user groups showed significant connections between the quality of interior design of the Insel restaurants they preferred to visit and how they experienced their individual working conditions (work environment problems; and the emotional work requirement, which often play a role in terms of burnout), their psychological well-being and their emotional commitment or ties to their company. Additionally, indications were found that the interior design of the personnel restaurants also had positive effects on the general condition of the employees’ health. When dealing with the design of the personnel restaurants the outside area should not be forgotten. To be outside was an important break need for one out of every 10 interviewees, and the need for fresh air one of the top 5 criteria for making a decision in Expanding Profile 3 AUTOMATENRESTAURANT. In addition, the more breaks were taken in the outdoor area, the less workload (work effort) was reported, and those breaks were experienced as being more refreshing. • Any design oriented toward the users of personnel restaurants should take into consideration the utilisation needs resulting from the work activities and work requirements of the employees, as well as the features of key groups. Different space requirements result from, among other things, the work activities and work conditions of the employees, and are besides associated with general group features which can indicate the specific individual preferences, attitudes, and values, as well as any psychological and physical prerequisites. Thus the user group analyses showed that different space preferences (or evaluations of space quality) were dependent upon the kind of work demands, the professional group, the amount of night work and general work environment problems. In addition, an average of one third of the interviewees found fault with the facilities of the work infrastructure. In this regard it was especially apparent that 31.6% of those interviewed reported an unsatisfactory IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014

situation in the spaces for meetings and consultations as well as 45.8% dissatisfaction with the zones/spaces for undisturbed work. And that at the same time with 45.1% who say they use the Insel restaurants for informal, and 3.3% for formal meetings at work. The most decisive features proved to be the sex, the age, the stage of career (in training), the formal ties to the company, the length of employment and last but not least the size of the user group (a single person, or a group of 3-4 people). As an example, women, who make up a 75% majority of the employees in the Inselspital, passed worse judgment on the food service areas than men. Or, as another example, in numerous interviews of Study 1 it was mentioned that the size and placement of tables in the room was chosen according to group size or to the purpose of the visit to the personnel restaurant. For instance, a distributed work team meets in the SOLE and wants team members to be able to find them easily, or someone wants to have a moment of retreat and privacy for regeneration at a small table behind the room divider in the CENTRO. At this Insel restaurant CENTRO, which is sought out equally by individuals as well as small groups, the multifunctional and partially conflicting demands made of personnel restaurants become especially clear. • Tapping the potential of personnel restaurants presupposes being extensively informed about the company’s infrastructure. In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the potential which personnel restaurants are able to offer depends upon a good location and the necessary familiarity of the employees with the company’s premises and with its food service infrastructure. The participants in Study 2 report having good knowledge about the Inselspital premises, but in the short interviews it became apparent that not all of those interviewed were informed about the diverse offerings of the 8 personnel restaurants. The research report concludes with critical reflection on the strengths and limits of this research project in Chapter 5.2 and with a short projection into further analyses in the future in Chapter 5.3.


4. Research report: The environmental dimension of organizational wellbeing: results of a preliminary survey from a public University in Italy

Roberta Fida Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Psychology roberta.fida@uniroma1.it

Valeria Biasci University of Roma Tre, Department of Education valeria.biasci@uniroma3.it

Giuseppe Carrus University of Roma Tre, Department of Education giuseppe.carrus@uniroma3.it

Research on organizational health and wellbeing has showed that work environment characteristics are potential risk factors for both the organizational health at the enterprise level and workers’ well-being and health at individual level and this was recognized also at the political level by the European Commission (1999) and by intergovernmental organizations such as the WHO (Leka et al., 2004; 2010). From this perspective, organizational health is defined as the set of conditions in which the organisation can express the health and promote the well-being as well as and high occupational life level of the workers (Avallone & Paplomatas, 2005). Therefore, organizational health can be considered as the set of processes, management and coordination practices through

the commitment of staff for the pursuit of the organizational mission and its success. In this way, a healthy organization expresses a positive relationship between employees and the organizational itself. In the organizational literature, the main focus so far has been placed on aspects related to the design and management of the job, as well as the social context, while less attention has been given to the characteristics of the physical environment itself. These are recognized as psychosocial risk factors that have the potential for causing physical, social or psychological damages to the individual in the organization (Cox & Griffiths, 2005; Cox, Griffiths & Rial, 2010). In this direction, several conceptual models, and related measuring instruments, have been developed in order to identify the different antecedents of work stress, leading to negative outcomes for the individual worker and for the organization as whole. For example, the Job-Characteristic model proposed by Hackman and Oldham (1975; 1976) examined five core job dimensions (skill variety, task significance, task identity, autonomy and feedback) that affect three critical psychological states in the employees (experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for the outcomes of the work, and knowledge of the results of the work activities), creating, in turn, a wide set of positive personal and work outcomes (such as high internal motivation, high work satisfaction, high quality performance, and low absenteeism and turnover). The Demand-ControlSupport model (e.g., Johnson & Hall, 1988; Karasek, 1979; Karasek &Theorell, 1990) has considered the role of psychological demands, decision latitude, and social support, as the main factors affecting both workers’ health and motivation. These factors are conceptualized as exerting their role in an additive and interactive manner. Siegrist (1996), proposed an effort-reward imbalance model suggested that the experience of an imbalance between high effort and low reward received at work, that is between costs and gains, is assumed to be particularly stressful.



In Italy, a first stetp into this direction can be found in the work by Avallone and Paplomatas (2005). These authors have proposed and validated, in a very large sample of Italian employees, an organizational health model that examined a broad range of psychosocial risks that, taken together, should affect job satisfaction and workers’ psychosomatic complaints. Specifically, these authors propose a multidimensional organizational health questionnaire (MOHQ), composed by different scales and subscales, that, in addition to organizational and social dimensions typically studied in the organizational literature, include also indicators related to the physical environmental factors. The domains considered in the MOHQ include dimensions such as: a) the perception of work environment comfort, that is aspects related to noise, cleanness, space etc; b) the relational and organizational processes dimension, in terms of workers’ perception of organizational efficiency, justice, conflict, leadership, relations with colleagues; c) the job content scale, measuring workload and isolation as well as the perception of stress; d) the innovation dimension, measuring the workers’ perception of organizational innovation orientation in terms of innovation of technology, of processes and of knowledge; e) the safety dimension, measuring the employees’ perception of the organization procedures and policy related to safety; f) the job satisfaction indicators, measuringthe frequency of specific conditions in the work context related to employee’s general work satisfaction and to negative events at work; g) the psychosomatic complaints scale, measuring the frequency of several health symptoms (headache, gastritis, etc.). THE ENVIRONMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL WELLBEING

Within this context, it seems important to include in conceptual models and measuring instruments about organizational health, a more direct and explicit consideration for the quality of the physical settings of the organization. In the environmental psychological literature, this has


been achieved through models that investigate how the physical characteristics of the work setting affect both the performance and the wellbeing of the workers: (e.g., Becker, 1991; Becker & Steel, 1995; Gifford, 2002; McCoy, J. M., 2002; Walden, 2004). A model proposed by Gifford, for example, puts emphasis on the interaction between the characteristics of the worker and the characteristics of the physical work setting, which is also affected also by work policy features (e.g., incentives, management styles, etc.). This interaction is crucial in terms of congruence and meaning, and determines the main positive or negative outcomes such as satisfaction, performance, social relation, stress, etc., through the mediation of specific psychological process, like arousal, control, overload, and others. Following on that model, Walden (2004) proposes also to identify different specific criteria through which assessing the quality of the workplaces, considering dimensions such as functional, aesthetic, social, ecological, organizational and economic factors, as well as different mediator (e.g., learned helplessness) or outcomes (e.g., burnout). Despite these interesting theoretical proposals that allow to envisage potential synergies between organizational psychology and peopleenvironment studies, the integration of environmental quality indicators within measures of organizational health and wellbeing has not been fully undertaken so far within the organizational literature. In this paper we present the preliminary results of a study where work we used an adapted version of the MOHQ to investigate the organizational wellbeing of the employee of a medium-size public University in Italy. In addition to the dimensions already included in the MOHQ, we added a series of other indicators that focus specifically with the characteristics and quality of the physical environment at work. We present here some preliminary results based on an assessment of the relations between individual and environmental dimensions of organizational health.



An electronic survey was conducted by administering a self-reported questionnaire to 474 technical, administrative and library employees of a medium-size public university in Italy. The questionnaire was composed by the standard measures contained in the MOHQ questionnaire by Avallone & Paplomatas (2005), plus a set of indicators referring to the perceived quality of the working environments and conditions (e.g., light, space, accessibility, noise, comfort) and a set of indicators of social relations process at work (e.g., collective self-efficacy, sense of organizational membership, identification with the organization). In total, N = 194 completed questionnaires were returned (response rate 40.9%). The characteristics of the respondents are the following. Gender: 51.3% women; 26.2% men; 22.6% missing. Education: 1.1% Junior high school;

29.4% high school; 41.5% graduate or higher; 28.1% missing. The 74.3% of the respondents is full time employed, 2.7% is part-time, 23.0% is missing value. The 36% works in the university departments, the 31.2 in the central administration, the 9.7% in libraries, the 23.0% is missing. The 24.9% of the respondents has a supervising role, the 50.4% has an operational role, the 24.7% is missing.


Our analysis focused mainly on the self-reported quality of the working environments and organizational health, and on the correlations between the organizational health indicators and the environmental working quality indicators. As shown in tables 1 and 2, on average the quality of the working environment was judged as rather positive for what it concerns Noise and Comfort, while less positive judgments emerged for what it concerns Light and Space.


For what it concerns the main indicators of organizational health (see tables 3 & 4), our data show that the participants express positive evaluations in relation to the perception of the work managers and co-workers, as well as positive judgments in terms of efficiency at work. Furthermore, the respondents report low level of stress and conflict at work. Some criticality emerged only for what it concerns equity at work. Another set of indicators was referred to social interaction processes in the workplace, and comprised factors such as collective self-efficacy, organizational membership and identification with the organization. Also in this case, our data show a positive pattern in the perceptions reported by the respondents, as shown in table 5. Turning to the correlations between the indicators of environmental quality and organizational health, in order to simplify our analysis, we first


Environmental quality












Table 1: Mean scores in the perceived quality of the working environments: light, space and accessibility. Note: Scores lower than 3 indicate bad environmental quality, while scores higher than 3 indicate good environmental quality.

Environmental quality






Lack of comfort



Table 2: Mean scores in the perceived quality of the working environments: noise and comfort. Note: Scores lower than 3 indicate good environmental quality, while scores higher than 3 indicate bad environmental quality.

Organizational health






Co-workers Efficiency








Table 3: Mean scores in organizational health indicators: perception of managers, co-workers, efficiency and equity. Note: Scores lower than 3 indicate bad organizational health, while scores higher than 3 indicate good organizational health.

Organizational health









Table 4: Mean scores in the perceived quality of the working environments: noise and comfort. Note: Scores lower than 3 indicate good organizational health, while scores higher than 3 indicate bad organizational health.

Organizational health



Collective self-efficacy









Table 5: Mean scores in social interaction indicators: self-efficacy, membership and identification. Note: Scores lower than 3 indicate bad organizational health, while scores higher than 3 indicate good organizational health.

Environmental quality indicators

Positive indicators

Negative indicators

Collective self-efficacy













Lack of comfort
















Table 6: Bivariate correlations of environmental quality indicators with positive and negative organizational health indicators and social interaction indicators at the workplace. Note: Only significant coefficients for p < .05 are reported.



computed aggregate scores separately for what it concerns the positive and negative scores in the various indicators. Then we computed the bivariate correlations between the environmental quality indicators, the positive and negative aggregate scores of organizational health, and the indicators of social interaction processes in the workplace. Results are displayed in table 6. As we can see, there are interesting relations emerging from our analysis, showing that the positive perceptions of environmental quality at work are correlated with positive indicators of organizational health (and vice versa). Also, the perceived positive environmental quality in the workplace is related to positive indicators of social interaction process at work, such as collective

self efficacy, sense of organizational membership, and identification with the organization.


The issue of organizational health and wellbeing has been extensively investigated, at the empirical level, in the field of work and organizational psychology. However, when setting up instruments for the assessment of organizational health, this field of inquiry has typically given more emphasis to organizational and social factors in the workplace, compared to the environmental factors. On the contrary, the characteristics of the physical environment and the relations between these and human behaviour and wellbeing have been more often investigated within environmental

psychological research, and within people-environment studies, for what it concerns the main contexts of human daily life. In our study we tried to combine both these approach and to explore the relations between these factors. Taken together, our findings show interesting results as they conform the existence of systematic relations between specific indicators of environmental quality at the workplace and indicators of organizational health. Also, our findings show that in the case study we examined (a middlesize public university in Italy), the employees that participated to our survey expressed in general positive evaluations in relation to both the environmental and organizational features, and the existence of critical features only in very few aspects of the overall working experience.

References • Avallone, F., & Paplomatas, A. (2005). Salute organizzativa. Psicologia del benessere nei contesti organizzativi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

• Johnson, J. V., & Hall, E. M. (1988). Job strain, work place social support, and cardiovascular disease: a cross-sectional study of a random sample of the Swedish working population. American journal of public health, 78(10), 1336-1342.

• Becker, F., & Steele, F. (1995). Workplace by design: Mapping the high-performance workscape. San Francisco: Jossey–Bass.

• Karasek, R. et Theorell, T.(1990). Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life. Nueva York: Basic Books.

• Becker, F. (1991). Workplace planning, design, and management. In E. H. Zube, & G. T. Moore (Eds.), Advances in environment, behavior, and design (Vol. 3, pp. 115–151). New York: Plenum. • Cox, T., Griffiths, A. (2005). The nature and measurement of work-related stress: theory and practice. In J.R. Wilson & N. Corlett (Eds.), Evaluation of Human Work (3rd ed.). London: CRS.

• Cox, T., Griffiths, A., & Rial, E. (2010). Work related stress. Occupational health psychology, 31-56. • European Commission (1999). Health and safety at work in Europe (1999-2007) A statistical portrait. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. http://epp. eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-31-09-290/EN/KS-31-09-290-EN.PDF.

• Gifford, R. (2002). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (3rd ed.). Colville, WA: Optimal Books.

• Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 159-170. • Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory. Organizational behavior and human performance, 16(2), 250-279.

• Karasek Jr., R. A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 285-307.

• Leka S, Griffiths, A.& Cox T (2004). Organization and Stress: Systematic problem approaches for employers, managers and trade unions representatives. Geneva: WHO (Protecting Workers’ Health series 3). Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO). • Leka, S., Jain, A., & World Health Organization. (2010). Health impact of psychosocial hazards at work: an overview.

• McCoy, J. M. (2002). Work environments: The changing workplace. In R. B. Bechtel, & A. Churchman (Eds.), Handbook of environmental psychology (pp. 443–460). New York: John Wiley.

• Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions.Journal of occupational health psychology, 1(1), 27. • Walden, R. (2004). Work environments. In C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied psychology, 699-707. New York: Academic Press/Elsevier.



5. Research report: Effects of art experience on physio-psychological wellness. A preliminary study in a virtual setting of museum visit

Stefano Mastandrea University of Roma Tre, Department of Education stefano.mastandrea@uniroma3.it

Fridanna Maricchiolo University of Roma Tre, Department of Education fridanna.maricchiolo@uniroma3.it


Stable and robust results from many researches state that the exposure to nature has beneficial effects on human beings (e.g., Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Berman, Jonides & Kaplan, 2008). Not only real natural environments but also representations of natural scenes, in pictures and videos, elicit physiological reactions positively related to well-being and health (Hartig, Evans, Jamner, Davis& Gärling, 2003; Ulrich, Simon & Miles, 2003). There is an agreement among scholars that contact with nature promotes several benefits (the recovery of central cognitive functions, the reduction of stress and the induction of positive emotions) that can be labelled as “psychological restoration”. Theories on restorative environments (Hartig, 2004), such as Attention Restoration Theory (ART; Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989) identify four environmental properties promoting restoration: being away, fascination, extent and compatibility. Several studies addressed the topic of the restorative potential of natural vs. built environments; findings showed, in general, a strong preference toward natural vs. urban or built environment, in terms also of restorative purposes (Hartig & Staats, 2006, Kaplan, 1995; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989); natural settings allow to recover better and quicker from stress and mental fatigue compared to urban environments (Hartig et al., 2003; Ulrich et al. 1991). More recently, several studies focused the attention on natural characteristics inside built settings, and their ability to promote restoration: for example, small green areas in the city

can supply for the needs of people’s restoration (van den Berg, Hartig, & Staats, 2007). But there are also particular types of built and artificial environment that, consideringthe purpose forwhich they were built, can have a restorative potential. Among these buildings, art museums can be considered peculiar kind of built setting that can promote people’s restoration. One of the question that we want to investigate is related to the possibility for art museum to promote the recovery of psychological wellbeing, identified through stress reduction, increase in positive emotions, and renewal of cognitive resources. Only few studies investigated the museum experience linked to stress and restoration. Clow and Fredhoi (2006) conducted a research with a group of participants who visited an art Gallery in London during the lunch break. A self report stress questionnaire was administered and the level of the hormone stress cortisol through a saliva sample was measured, before and after the visit. Findings showed a decrease in self-reported stress and the level of cortisol and after the visit. The 35 minutes visit of the art Gallery were sufficient to promote a general well-being and the reduction of stress. Starting from these considerations, it might worth studying more systematically different art style museum and the degree of restoration they can promote. We have no knowledge of studies focusing on measurements of blood pressure and heart rate when visiting an art gallery or a museum. This measurements have been used in several researches to show the benefit from nature, but not the benefit from the art experience during museum visits. Considering the visit itself as a restorative experience, it would be interesting to see if a museum of ancient art (realistic or figurative artworks) vs. a museum of modern/ contemporary art (avant-garde and abstract paintings, installations and performances) is able to allow recovery from stress and mental fatigue at different levels. Moreover it would be also interesting to see if different kind of art (figurative vs. modern) would allow people to differentiate their experience in terms of stress reduction and well-being. Before conducting the study in the real museum settings we started with a pilot study in laboratory, simulating a sort of virtual museum visit (as many museum now show on the website).



On the basis of these considerations, we hypothesized that: 1) the vision of a slide show of art painting improves physiological, cognitive, and emotional wellness, and in turn positively affects behavioural choices comparing to the vision of urban images; 2) there is a difference in terms of cognitive activation, physiological wellness, and emotional states comparing the two art styles (figurative and abstract) presented in the slide show.

Figure 1. Figurative Art


Participants. Eighteen undergraduate student of the University of Roma Tre (Department of Education), without specific training in art (all female; 19-42 age range, mean about 28), voluntarily participate to the experiment.

Experimental stimuli. Three different Power point slide showswere presented at the participants (six subjects for condition): the first with figurative art pictures, the second with abstract art pictures and the third with urban pictures, as a control condition. Figures 1-3 show some examples of stimuli (pictures of the slide show) of the three experimental conditions. Each presentation was constituted by 15 pictures and lasted 2 minutes. The aim was to investigate the effect of these different slide shows pictures (arts vs. urban) and between the two types of art on the physiological and psychological state of the participants through different measures.

Figure 2. Abstract Art


Different measures were considered: physiological, cognitive, affective and evaluative measures. Physiological measures. Two physiological measures were collected: blood pressure and heart rate. Blood pressure can be summarized in two measures: systolic and diastolic. Both depend on the activity of the heart muscle that contracts (systole) and relaxes

Figure 3. Control (urban images) IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014


(diastole) between each heart beat. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), especially in elderly, can be used to discriminate a state of well-beingfrom a disease (hypertension); in young age (as in the age of the subjects involved in the experiment average age 28), the diastolic blood pressure (DBP) may be an useful index to detect changes that occur in the subject on an emotional level. Blood pressure was measured in a sitting position with participants’ back against the back of the chair and using an automaticsphygmomanometer; the measurement was performed in the right arm. Together to blood pressure, heart rate was also measured as expressions of physiological arousal and activation. Heart rate represents a widely used variable for the measurement of emotional arousal; it has been shown that changes in heart rate parallel the vision of emotionally involving movies, either pleasant or unpleasant (Gomez et al., 2005).

Cognitive measure. ANT (Attentional Network Task) was administered to measure cognitive activity of the subjectsbefore and after the slide show. It is a computer task, in which participants responded to the direction of an arrowpresented on the screen There are three different attentional functions: 1. Alerting contrasts trials, in which a central dot cue alerts participants that a trial is approaching (facilitated trials) with trials in which no cue is given (the cue facilitates performance), 2. Orienting contrasts trials, in which a spatial cue informs participants where the arrows will appear (top or bottom of the fixation point, facilitated task) with trials in which a central cue provides no special information (in this case the spatial cue facilitates performance). 3. Executive attention contrasts trials in which the direction of the central arrow is incongruent with the direction of the flanking arrows (more difficult task) with trials in which the direction of the flanking arrows matches the central (target) arrow (in this task, incongruency worsens performance). We used an ANT with a reduced number of trials respect to the task described by Berman et al. (2008).

1. ANT (T1) 2. PANAS (T1) 3. Blood pressure and Heart rate (T1) 4. Cognitive load task (two minutes calculation exercises) 5. Physical load task (two floor stairs) 6. Blood pressure and Heart rate (T2) 7. Slide show (3 conditions: figurative, abstract art, and control) 8. Blood pressure and Heart rate (T3) 9. ANT (T2) 10. PANAS (T2) 11. Pro-social behavioural intention. We introduced the tasks at the points 4 and 5 to induce cognitive and physiological weariness, in order to measure the possible restorativeness after the stimulus. RESULTS

To verify the hypotheses we carried out a repeated measures analysis of variance for the indicators measured for more than one time, and an ANOVA for the indicators measured only after the stimulus. Due to the scarce number of subjects, here we show the effects with an high partial eta squared (even if p>.05) as good indicator of some possible significant affect in case of big statistical power.

Physiological measures Results showed that in the heart rate and in the diastolic blood pressure there was a decrease after the figurative slide show presentation (see Figures 4-5), respect to the second measure taken after the induced weariness: −

the heart rate showed 2-way interaction (time by experimental condition); F(2,15)=0.94; p=.455; partialη2=0.11. also the diastolic blood pressure showed 2-way interaction (time by experimental condition); F(2,15)=2.11; p=.105; partialη2= 0.219.

Affective measure. We administered the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS, Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) to asses participants’ mood at the beginning of the experiment and after the slide show. Fourteen mood-related adjectives, seven for positive and seven for negative states, (e.g., happy, tired, etc.) were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (1= not at all; 5= extremely) for how well each adjective described participants’ current mood: “Indicate how you feel right now in that particular way, as indicated by the following adjectives”.

Behavioural measure. A 7-point Likert scale of six items was administered to the participants. Items regards prosocial behavioural intentions: “Based on your current state, as likely you would effect each of the following behaviours?”: es. “Donating food to homeless”. Procedure. Below we report the sequence of tasks of the experimental procedure:

Figure 4. Heart Rate



Figure 7. Active Figure 5. Diastolic BP

Figures 4-5. 2-way interaction time by experimental condition for physiological measures. t-test Paired samples: *p<.05; **p<.001 Cognitive measures Regarding the ANT, only the executive increased after figurative art slide show (F(2,15)=1.45; p=.266; partialη2=0.162, see Figure 6). The alerting and the orienting task didn’t show any differences.

Figure 8. Happy

Figures 7-8. 2-way interaction time by experimental condition for emotional measures (PANAS). Behavioural measures Regarding the prosocial behavior results showed that after the figurative art slide show, participants affirmed to be more favourable to the disposition of donating food to the homeless (Figure 9). On a 6 points Likert scale after the control, abstract and figurative slide show, the respective score was 4, 5 and 5.3 (Main effect experimental condition; F(2,15)=2,83; p=.091;partialη2= 0.274).

Figure 6.

Figure 6. 2-way interaction time by experimental condition for Executive control of ANT. Affective measures Regarding the Positive and negative affective Schedule (PANAS), in the term active significant differences were found; after the figurative slide show participants evaluate themselves as more active (Figure 7), whereas after the abstract and control ones, they evaluate themselves significantly less active (F(2,15)=4.2; p=.036;partialη2=0.359). Participants self-reported feeling marginally happier (Figure 8) after the abstract and figurative art slide shows than the control ones (F(2,15)=.83; p=.454; partialη2= 0.10).

Figure 9.

Figure 9. Means of item “Donating food to homeless” after the three conditions.




This preliminary lab study had the aim of investigating the restorative potential of art experience at physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioural levels. Such preliminary data suggest a restorative potential of art, in particular for “figurative” style compared to “abstract” and control stimuli. As far as physiological indicators, results show that both heart rate and diastolic blood pressure of the participants tend to decrease after viewing the figurative art and control stimuli, but increase or remain the same after abstract stimuli. Therefore, as expected, the experience of figurative art tends to improve physiological wellness of the participants, in particular for the result about DBP. As far as the heart rate, it can indicate anxiety, but also emotional arousal, so, if from one hand figurative art makes the participant calmer than before the vision of the slide show, from the other hand abstract art could induce physiological activation and emotional arousal. As far as cognitive wellness, measured through ANT, after viewing the figurative art slide stimuli, participants seem to improve only in Executive function performance and not in the other tasks (Orienting and Alerting) nor after other experimental stimuli (abstract art and control slide show). Probably, figurative art experience could be restorative for the cognitive state of the subjects, improving their performance in a task

of executive attention in which a higher mental effort is needed. Results on emotional measures go in the direction of our hypotheses too. Data analyses show that art experience (even if only virtual) could give also emotional wellness state. In particular, we found that participants feel more “active” after viewing figurative art (with a decrease for the

other two conditions) and “happier” after viewing both art stimuli (figurative and abstract) vs. control. That means viewing artworks drive people in a positive mood (especially happiness), and in particular viewing figurative artworks, allow people feel more active. From the point of view of behavioural intention, viewing artworks, especially of figurative art, could drive people in a more prosocial disposition, in particular in the intention of donating food to homeless. It could be hypothesized that the experience of art(even if only virtual), stimulating a whole (physiological, cognitive, and emotional) wellness state, would induce participants to a greater inclination to prosociality and to help other people. These results are certainly very preliminary; this study was carried out as a pilot lab study to investigate the effects of art of different styles on physiological, cognitive, emotional and behavioural wellness of the “beneficiaries”. These preliminary results give some indication about such effects, although art experience was only virtual, since we showed only artworks through slide shows on a monitor, and in spite of the scarce number of participants. Future studies will be conducted in real settings like art museums (ancient vs. modern/contemporary art) on an higher number of subjects. The real art experience should provide more clear evidence to the preliminary results obtained.

References • Berman, M. G., Jonides, J. & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212.

• Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (1989). The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.

• Gomez, P., Zimmermann, P., Guttermsen-Schär, S. & Danuser B. (2005). Respiratory responses associated with auditive processing of film stimuli. Biological Psychology, 68(3), 223-235.

• Ulrich, R. S., Simons, R. F., & Miles, M. A. (2003). Effects of environmental simulations and television on blood donor stress. Journal of Architectural & Planning Research, 20(1), 38-47.

• Clow, A. & Fredhoi, C. (2006). Normalisation of salivary cortisol levels and self-report stress by a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery by London City workers.Journal of Holistic Healthcare, 3 (2), 29-32. • Hartig, T. (2004). Restorative environments. In C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 273-279). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

• Hartig, T., Evans, G. W., Jamner, L. D., Davis, D. S., & Gärling, T. (2003). Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 109-123. • Hartig,T., & Staats, H. (2006). The need for psychological restoration as a determinant of environmental preferences. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 215-226.

• Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Towards an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182.

• Ulrich, R. S., Simons, R., Losito, B. D., Fiorito, E., Miles,M. A., & Zelson, M. (1991). Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11, 201-230.

• van den Berg, A.E., Hartig, T., & Staats, H., 2007. Preference for nature in urbanized societies: stress, restoration, and the pursuit of sustainability. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 79-96. • Watson, D., Clark, L.A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063-1070.



6. Dissertation abstract: Daytime light exposure: Effects and preferences Karin Smolders Eindhoven University of Technology. The Netherlands. k.c.h.j.smolders@tue.nl

Light enables us to see the world around us, but is also important for our physiological and psychological functioning.During the last decades, light has become an important research topic for engineers, chronobiologists and neuroscientists. Developments in lighting technologies (e.g., LED) are offering new possibilities for flexible, dynamic and personalized lighting applications. Moreover, the discovery of a third (non-rod, non-cone) photoreceptor in the human retina has significantly advanced our knowledge about the role of light in human behavior and physiology. A substantial body of research has demonstrated the relevance of light exposure for circadian regulation. In addition, research has shown acute activating effects of bright light exposure on subjective and objective indicators of alertness and arousal. These studies have revealed robust effects in the late evening and at night. Yet, to what extent and under what conditions such effects exist during daytime for healthy day-active persons is largely unknown. In the current thesis, we studied the relation between diurnal light exposure and human functioning during daytime, from a more psychological perspective. Complementing earlier studies performed in domains of chronobiology and neuroscience, we explored the role of daytime light exposure in human mental wellbeing, health and performance, focusing on individuals’ behavior, experiences and preferences during regular daytime hours. To this end, a series of studies were performed to investigate potential alerting and vitalizing effects of bright light exposure during daytime on subjective experiences, task performance and physiology and to explore whether individuals’ appraisals and light preferences reflected these effects. A field study was

performed to investigate daily light exposure patterns and explore the relationship between light exposure and feelings of vitality during daytime. Moreover, a series of laboratory studies was performed to explore effects of bright light exposure during regular daytime hours on self-report, task performance and physiological arousal measures. In addition, we investigated preferred light intensity as a function of alertness, vitality and performance, to explore whether persons would prefer a higher illuminance level, i.e., seek more light, when they felt mentally fatigued and depleted than when feeling more alert and vital. Together, these studies demonstrated the relevance of light exposure for mental wellbeing and performance, even during daytime and in everyday life. Results of the field study showed that hourly light exposure was significantly related to feelings of vitality, indicating that persons who had been exposed to more light felt more energetic immediately afterwards. In line with these results, our laboratory studies showed that more intense light induces alertness, assessed with self-reports and some indicators for task performance and physiology, even during regular daytime hours (i.e., in the absence



of sleep and light deprivation). More specifically, bright light exposure induced higher feelings of alertness and vitality, resulted in faster responses in sustained attention tasks and higher physiological arousal (measured with EEG power density in the theta range, heart rate and skin conductance level). Yet, effects on subjective alertness and vitality as well as on sustained attention were more consistent than the effects on the measures for cognitive performance and physiology. Moreover, results indicated that the effects on human experiences may depend on persons’ prior mental state (i.e., mentally fatigued vs. rested), and effects on task performance and physiology may depend on time of day, duration of exposure and type of indicator, motivating the use of person-centered and dynamic lighting scenarios for day-active persons. Results of the studies investigating light preferences suggested that preferred light settings to perform an attention task are probably only modestly affected by a person’s experienced mental state. Overall, preferred illuminance levels showed substantial inter- and intraindividual variations and the alerting effects of bright light were only subtly reflected in individuals’ light preferences. This suggests that although participants may benefit from bright light exposure during regular daytime hours, persons may not consciously adjust the light to increase their level of alertness and vitality. Up to now, research to the non-image forming effects of light had rendered convincing evidence for alerting and vitalizing effect of bright light exposure during persons’ biological night or on certain subgroups (such as persons suffering from seasonal affective disorder or dementia). Although those earlier findings mainly had practical implications for shift workers and particular clinical subgroups, the current research suggests the potential for the application of bright light (natural or electric) to benefit the population at large. Our results provide valuable insights for engineers and lighting designers in the development of person-centered lighting solutions, but also propose new research directions for scientists. Moreover, the results shed light on potential underlying mechanism during daytime.






Last 30-31 January, the kick-off meeting of the European Consortium carrying out GLAMURS was held in the University of A Coruña (UDC) in Spain. The objectives of the meeting were the establishment of the guiding lines of the research work to be carried out by project partners during the 2014-2016 time period. Research in GLAMURS fits into a wider research programme of the European Commission which aims at identifying the best strategies to support sustainable changes in lifestyles and decouple growth from intensive resource use. This programme is part of the European Strategy for Sustainable Development, which targets reductions of 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and the transition of the energy system to at least 27% of total energy consumption coming from renewable sources. The consortium, formed by 11 European universities and research centres, is coordinated by Prof. Dr Ricardo García Mira, who has recently received a grant for carrying out this project from the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, under the Socioeconomic Sciences and Humanities call, in the category of large-scale collaborative projects. The overall aim of GLAMURS is to develop a theoretically-based and empirically-grounded understanding of the main obstacles and prospects for transitions to sustainable lifestyles and a green economy in Europe, as well as of the most effective means to support and speed them up. It will do so through the development of theory on determinants of sustainable lifestyles and lifestyle change, and through developing models and evidence on obstacles and prospects for the transformation to green economies and lifestyles in Europe.

The results will be translated into policy recommendations for supporting transitions to sustainable lifestyles and economies in Europe, and defining a third way for European societies that goes beyond traditional dichotomies between private and public, personal interest and societal objectives, or egoism and altruism as fundamental human value orientations. From the local team, Adina Dumitru, a UDC psychology researcher will support the coordination efforts and will lead part of the empirical research work in the Consortium. Other staff participating in this project from the local team includes Professor Bernardo Hernández from the University of La Laguna (Spain), Jesus Miguel Muñoz Cantero and Maria Jesús Freire from UDC and Xose-Luis Barreiro from the University of Santiago de Compostela. The GLAMURS project, coordinated by the PeopleEnvironment Research Group of the UDC (www.peopleenvironment-udc.org) together with the EU-INNOVATE project (Sustainable Lifestyles: user integration and entrepreneurship), coordinated by the Technical University of Munich (Germany) are the two projects granted by the European Commission in the last call of the FP7 Programme for the development of research and innovation in the field of “Sustainable lifestyles and green economy”. Consortia of both projects have recently (9-12-2013) met in Brussels with representatives of the General Directorate for Research and Innovation, to discuss points of synergy and research agendas needed to achieve the objectives of the European strategy. The Faculty of Education held two-day intensive working sessions with the participation of 35 researchers from 11 universities and 7 EU countries to discuss specific goals. A few of the key conclusions were that:



The GLAMURS Consortium during the kick-off meeting in A Coruña (Spain).

• The concept of sustainable lifestyles is fuzzy and there is a need to reassess its meaning and maybe advocate for the use of different concepts. There is a necessity to undertake a complex analysis of the determinants of lifestyles choices and processes of societal change in a sustainable direction, by developing interdisciplinary theory and research on determinants of lifestyles preferences with cooperation among different social sciences. Social influence processes and theories of social change have an important role to play here. • Universities need to improve their strategies for addressing environmental problems from a trans-disciplinary perspective, and incorporate specific skills in university

training for interdisciplinary research (GLAMURS will have joint contributions of economists, social psychologists, sociologists, industrial ecologists and engineers), on the one hand, and trans-disciplinary research adopting a framework of knowledge co-production with the participation of relevant social groups such as policy-makers, business representatives and citizen groups, on the other. • The generation of proposals for alternative business models, pathways for transitions to sustainable lifestyles, and strategies for the up-scaling and acceleration of existing sustainable lifestyle options require the exploration of multiple social, economic, political and environmental determinants and impacts and the combination of sound interdisciplinary theory-building, model development and empirical testing and refining of hypotheses. For more information, please contact: ricardo.garcia.mira@udc.es, or go to the website: www.glamurs.eu

The GLAMURS Consortium.

Ricardo García Mira and Adina Dumitru (in the center) coordinating the sessions. IAPS - BULLETIN 41 | SPRING 2014




is an international two-day scientific conference that will bring together recent insights into the effects of light and lighting design on human wellbeing. Following the successful Experiencing Light conferences in 2009 and 2012 it aims to provide a state of the art overview of how light influences mood, emotions, behaviour, physical and mental health, comfort, atmosphere perception, productivity and performance. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for academics and practitioners with an interest in research, theory, technologies, design, and applications related to the effects of lighting on people to meet and hear about recent findings. We hope to see you in Eindhoven on the 10th and 11th of November 2014! The proceedings of the previous two

Experiencing Light conferences can be found on the website http://www.experiencinglight.nl/. Keep an eye on the website for updates about the program, deadlines for the submission of presentations and posters, and more! KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Paul Bogard is the author of the book ‘The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light’. Paul is also editor of the anthology ‘Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark’, a collection of essays by twenty-eight wonderful writers on the value of darkness and the costs of light pollution. He is an assistant professor of English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he teaches creative nonfiction and environmental literature.



Steve Fotios is professor of Lighting and Visual Perception in the school of architecture at the University of Sheffield where he leads research of lighting and human factors for interior and exterior environments. Two issues of research activity are how lamp spectrum affects spatial brightness and lighting for pedestrians. A key theme of this work is experimental design, establishing and checking procedures so that there is a better understanding of what is being measured. DOCTORAL CONSORTIUM

We are pleased to announce that in addition to our twoday scientific conference, we will also organize a doctoral consortium targeted at young researchers who study the effects of light and light design on human wellbeing. The aim of the doctoral consortium is to provide an opportunity for a limited amount of doctoral students to discuss their current and future research projects within an interdisciplinary panel of doctoral students, under the guidance of distinguished researchers. The doctoral consortium will be held prior to the Experiencing Light 2014 conference, on November 9th 2014. The admission fee is â‚Ź30,- for students who also register for the Experiencing Light 2014 conference. We cordially invite doctoral students who feel they would benefit from this kind of feedback on their dissertation work to apply for this opportunity to share their work with senior researchers and fellow students in the field of light and lighting design. Further information on the application procedure as well as more details on the contents of the doctoral consortium will be announced in the near future. GLOW FESTIVAL

The conference coincides with the Glow festival (http://www.gloweindhoven.nl/) during which Eindhoven turns into a true city of light. By a forum of interventions, installations, performances and events you can experience the diverse facets of the phenomena of light.


The submission format consists of extended abstracts of maximum 4 pages (approximately 2500 words) in MS Word format. For specific submission guidelines and templates, please visit the conference website: www.experiencinglight.nl <http://www.experiencinglight.nl>, or contact us at el2014@tue.nl. Important dates: Submission deadline: 16 May 2014 Notification of acceptance: 27 June 2014 Revised submission deadline: 13 August 2014 (for accepted abstracts only)

On behalf of the organizing committee, we hope to see you at Experiencing Light 2014!




ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ASSOCIATION. LA ASOCIACIÓN DE PSICOLOGÍA AMBIENTAL (PSICAMB) Juan I. Aragonés President of PSICAMB Facultad de Psicología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain jiaragones@psi.ucm.es

The aim of this text is to publicize what the Environmental Psychology Association (PSICAMB) is and what is does, in the area of IAPS. This association started after complex historical events by a team of professors and researchers that have been working on Environmental Psychology during more than twenty five years, and at a certain time they decided to create an association as a means of improving the task they were developing. In order to understand the members that form part of PSICAMB and what its objectives are, although succinctly, it seems appropriate to publish the succession of events that took place before reaching the current time. More than two decades ago, in 1986, the first meeting of Environmental Psychology in Spain was held in Madrid. This meeting was attended by hundreds of psychologists

and other researchers with curiosity in this field of study. Many of the attendees fell by the wayside, but that moment could be considered as the starting point of what was to become PSICAMB years later. However, this beginning has precedents and, undoubtedly, one of those was the VII IAPS Conference held in Barcelona in the year 1982 where the few environmental psychologists that existed back then in our country came into contact with international scholars that were worried about the multiple person-environment interactions. Consequently, throughout this period there have been biannual congresses, first of all in Spain and then SpanishPortuguese, in university headquarters that provided coverage for the environmental psychologists. Here, the work was presented and debated and other psychologists from other specialties, particularly social psychologists, accompanied each situation where they overlapped. A good illustration of this task is reflected in an audiovisual study carried out by Sevillano (2004) that briefly describes the events up to that moment. In total, 11 congresses have been held, with the results being published in various formats: initially abstracts and proceedings, later monographs and articles or monographic issues in specialized journals. During these meetings foreign professors were invited with a double objective, to learn first-



hand of new ideas that were present around the world and to appeal to the same to become spokespeople of the group, committed to Environmental Psychology. These congresses were attended by Keynote professors such as: David Canter, Terence Lee, Gerard Kaminski, Tommy Gärling, Nick Pidgeon, Irvin Zube, Gabriel Moser, Esther Wiesenfeld, Euclides Sánchez, Robert Bechtel, Victor Corral-Verdugo, David Stea, Jose Pinheiro, Guido Francescato, Henk Saats, Gary Evans, Terry Hartig, Robert Gifford, Perla Serfaty-Garzon and many others of various nationalities. In the periods of time between congresses, various workshops took place where there were specific debates on the various lines of research that were being developed, while the groups that worked on Environmental Psychology joined together. In their respective universities, the professors developed the discipline in accordance with the idiosyncrasy of each university environment, publishing manuals, monographs, directing doctoral theses and, of course, attempting to publish their research at a national and international level. With this background, in the year 2000 the scientific journal “Medio ambiente y Comportmiento Humano” http://mach.webs.ull.es/ -.was created, with the vocation not only of publicizing research carried out in Spain, but also the events that had taken place and continued to take place in other places, particularly in Portugal and Latin America. Development reached increasing heights until it became what it is today: an international bilingual magazine, Spanish - English, under the name “Psyecology” - http://www.tandfonline.com/ -). Without a doubt, the researchers and research groups that formed were developing and integrating with the international world with more or less success, through publications, participation in European projects, visits to European and North American universities, as well as entry to international associations, among them IAPS, where there have been, and still are, members pertaining to the Board. Through the years, this informal, but strongly cohesive, group has grown and observed how its Portuguese neighbors have also developed their own work in Environmental Psychology. A series of informal contacts was established that derived in the creation of a Spanish-Portuguese group that was incorporated to the congresses being held in the Spanish area in 2006. The success of this union is notable and this joint participation has been demonstrated in the four most recent congresses held in various parts of the Iberian Peninsula: Madrid, Lisbon, Almeria and Barcelona. Therefore the growth, development, activity and, in general, the aspirations of this “informal group” were of such magnitude that it was deemed appropriate to create an association that would become a channel for research and teaching concerns in Environmental Psychology. Thus, in 2008, this association was created with the objectives of stimulating the development of Environmental Psychology in the research and teaching areas as well as to transfer the knowledge of this discipline to society (see website: http:// www.psicamb.org/). This path has yet to be traveled. In just six years, PSICAMB has not only grown in number of members but

has also held four congresses since its foundation, it has strengthened relationships between Spanish and Portuguese groups and has started some interesting relationships with the French homonym association (ArpEnv) which has found maximum expression in the joint conference held in Barcelona in 2013. Also, there are close bonds with numerous Latin American colleagues. A reflection of the activity of this association is visible in the listserv “psicamb” which facilitates communication between memberst. This list is open to anyone with an interest in forming part of the same, whether they are a member of PSICAMB or not. As can easily be gathered by this information, this association has a Spanish-Portuguese origin but is not limited by nationality, as it is open to anyone who wishes to join; although it is true that the linguistic barrier could be a conditioning factor as Spanish and Portuguese are the majority languages. However, the purpose of this brief note is not to recruit members for PSICAMB, although they would be welcome, but rather to inform the members of IAPS of our existence and a summary of our work. Also, another purpose is to invite them to maintain contact with us if they consider it appropriate, as we would all benefit from this, particularly our discipline which accounts for our profession.

References • Sevillano, V. (2014).R euniones científicas y congresos de psicología ambiental [Scientific meetings and conferences of environmental psychology]. 1980-2004. http://www.psicamb.org/publicaciones.php




SCIENCE PAPER ON ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION Justin Dillon Professor of science and environmental education Head, Science and Technology Education Group (STEG) Associate Member, Education, Environment & Sustainability Research Group, Monash University Department of Education and Professional Studies. King’s College London

If you are interested in both the Science article and the NY Times articleplease go to: www.transformativelearning.nl Arjen Wals, one of the authors of the Science paper, posted apress-release, description and link to the paper. For the NY Times articleyou have to scroll down to an earlier post titled “Saving the Planet hurtsthe local economy” - Climate Change makes its way into the world’sclassrooms. The full reference to the paper is:


After a whole article in the International New York Times about the roleof education in addressing sustainability issues, particularly ClimateChange, the prestigious journal Science published a paper this month,featuring environmental education, focusing on a desired “Convergencebetween Science and Environmental Education” and the use of ICT-supportedCitizen Science to address the current sustainability crisis. It appears that major media and science journals are beginning to see thateducation is vital in addressing some of these issues....

• Wals, A.E.J., Brody, M., Dillon, J. and Stevenson, R.B. (2014) Convergence Between Science and Environmental Education, Science, 344, p. 583-584.


Editor Giuseppe Carrus University of Roma Tre, Department of Education, Experimental Psychology Laboratory. CIRPA – Interuniversity Research Centre in Environmental Psychology Via Milazzo 11B – 00185 Rome, Italy Phone: +39 06 57339819 E-mail: giuseppe.carrus@uniroma3.it URL: www.uniroma3.it

International Association for People-Environment Studies aims to improve the physical environment and human well-being.

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