عنوان مقاله [English]
Psychological understanding of human behavior in relation to physical environment Has been extensively studied with in the field of environmental psychology. In fact, the focus of environmental psychology has been on how human’s behavior, emotions and sense of health are affected by physical environment. Environmental psychologists directly and indirectly and from different points of view have studied the impacts of physical environment on human behavior and his sense of health. While researchers have made progress in elucidating the effects of open spaces on mental health, there are few studies about the role of built environments in mental health. Some researchers believe that the sensory and emotional quality of environment are the main factors of determining the mood and also the memories associated with a situation are the most crucial part of the relationship between humans and their environment which can affect the individual’s health. According to literature review, the amount of information the environment can provide is described as the “environmental load”. So, an environment with a high load is the one that provides us with a lot of sensory information. Three factors are associated with the environmental load: intensity, novelty, and complexity. One of the well noted studies underlines the fact that four factors determine our reactions to the environment which are: coherence, legibility, complexity and mystery. In another research five groups of environmental design factors including stimulation. Coherence, affordance, control, and mental reconstruction are mentioned that any nonconformity in the balance of their variables would lead to reduction or multiplication of psychological pressure. Another study examines the direct and indirect impacts of built environmental factors on mental health and concludes that the features of built environment that directly affect mental health are crowding, sound pollution, air quality, and light. In addition to the direct impacts, alterations in the mental-social process with proven psychological consequences, can also indirectly affect human mental health. Considering the fact that the main assumption of this study, the indoor design can affect human physical and mental health by stress reduction or stress increase, much effort has been made to examine and recognize the most important and effective variables in this case. So, with regard to the span of the subject, first, stress will be defined and then the related factors and the relevant theories will be discussed. The research method of this study is based on the content analysis of theoretical research and examination of the new findings in the context of environmental psychology and architectural design. In this study the framework of Evans and McCoy has been used which mentions five effective factors of stress reduction or stress increase in built environments as followings: Mental reconstruction and restoration, Stimulation, Coherence, Affordance, and Control. One of the best known theories in the field of mental reconstruction and restoration is the “attention restorative theory”. According to this theory, optional focused attention creates fatigue or mental exhaustion in human beings. However, mental exhaustion can be recovered when there are the following four features in the environments: being away from the concentration ring, expanding the extent of sight, fascination and attraction, and compatibility of environment with individual’s desires. Stimulation happens when the amount of information in an environment goes beyond a person’s capacity of acceptance and perception. Related research shows that extreme stimulation causes dysfunction; lack of stimulation and enough motivation could also deprive “a person’s functional organism” from being successfully adapted to environment challenges. The term of coherence refers to clarity and comprehensibility of forms, elements, parts and components of a building and the relationships among them. In this area, Gestalt psychologists have also paid attention to how sensory intakes are organized, or how a whole is formed and pulled together out of the parts. Researchers believe that Environment is a set of organized capabilities or “affordances”. Environment capabilities or affordances are its physical features that make it usable for a particular creature. In other words, affordances are those properties that make an environment function to supply human or animal needs. Studies show that when people have the ability to change their environment and adjust to it, they are able to manage the environment. The following concepts are closely interconnected with the concept of control: spatial limits, flexibility of spatial arrangement and configuration, privacy, territory, proper perspective, depth, open space around the building site, the vision, responsiveness, climate control and the light. The main conclusion of this article is that if the existing theories in environmental psychology and environment design are applied and considered by designers, they would enhance human physical and mental health. It is noteworthy that more precise results would likely be attained through further research.