9:10am Lindsay McCunn

Environmental Psychology Research at VIU
Theme: Health, Resilience & Well-Being
Environmental psychology is a relatively new sub-field of psychology that centres on the transactions between people and environments. Environments studied range from large- and small-scale natural areas to a variety of built settings. The new Environmental Psychology Research Lab at VIU focuses on researching human attitudes and behaviors in a number of spaces, including hospitals, prisons, schools, offices, and neighbourhoods. This talk will outline some of the projects that the lab's Director, Dr. Lindsay McCunn, and her undergraduate research assistants, are working on. One 3-year project, funded by the James Irvine Foundation, is an evaluation of a pop-up resource village located in a diverse San Francisco community. We are measuring how the pop-up resource village affects residents' sense of place and place-making behaviours in the neighbourhood. Other funded projects include collaborations with Island Health to understand the influence of circadian lighting and biophillic mural installations in local hospitals on patient experiences and employee wellbeing. Additional work conducted in the lab includes collaborating with landscape architects and criminal justice scholars to understand how outdoor classrooms and landscaped respite spaces are utilized by inmates and staff in Iowa and Washington state prisons. We also work with civil and environmental engineers at the University of Washington in Seattle to improve lighting environments in open-plan office settings, and with school districts in Victoria and Washington state as we evaluate library design decisions in relation to staff satisfaction in the workplace.