Geographical Psychology: The Spatial Organization of Psychological Phenomena

07 Jun 2018

There is geographical variation in the ways in which people think, feel, and behave. How are we to understand the causes and consequences of such variation? Geographical psychology is an emerging subarea of research concerned with the spatial organization of psychological phenomena and how individual characteristics, social entities, and physical features of the environment contribute to their organization. Studies at multiple levels of analysis have indicated that social influence, ecological influence, and selective migration are key mechanisms that contribute to the spatial clustering of psychological characteristics. Investigations in multiple countries have shown that the psychological characteristics common in particular regions are respectively linked to important political, economic, and health indicators. Furthermore, results from large multilevel studies have shown that the psychological characteristics of individuals interact with features of the local environment to impact psychological development and well-being. Future research is needed to better understand the scale and impact of person-environment associations over time.