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Psychology and Space

Code: LPSI312     Acronym: PE

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Psychology

Instance: 2021/2022 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Psychology
Course/CS Responsible: First degree in Psychology

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PSIC 27 Official Curricular Structure 3 - 3 27 81

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Cidália Maria Neves Duarte

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 1 2,00
Cidália Maria Neves Duarte 2,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students



This CU seeks to raise awareness and consolidate students' knowledge by a relatively new area of psychology, especially given his relationship with other domains of knowledge. We refer to issues concerning the built environment and built by man, the questions of urbanism and its influence / impact on whether or not promotion of human development and their psychological well-being. The possibility to observe, reflect and discuss real situations, whether about  experiences in single-family’s spaces, institutional spaces, or the participation and experience in construction and enjoyment of public spaces, allows students to empower themselves to raise awareness (and intervention) in this specific field, deepening a central theme in the lives of individuals - their intimate, social, public and community spaces  - where they necessarily and obligatory, live and experience through life cycle.

Learning outcomes and competences

It is expected that the student is able to:
- Integrate various concepts that contribute to the analysis of relationships between spaces, their diversity and their psychological experiences;
- Contact with real situations, stressing the need to understand and be aware of reading behaviors and attitudes in a systemic perspective, appealing to the influences that the various spaces in which we live affect us and how we can act on them;
- Integrate the interrelationships between this specific field of psychology with others (eg community psychology, architecture)
-  Reflect, critically,  on the work of the psychologist in this specific area, having  a specific and particular regard to the need for multidisciplinary work.

Working method




- Historical perspective of the relationship between architecture, urban planning and psychology.
- The environment as an area producer of psychological development, theories and effects of urban life, physical settings, social-economic and political factors;
- Concepts of living space, personal space, public space, location, unique ambience: the relationships between visible and invisible factors of space and the bidirectional relationships person-environment: concepts of affordance, perception environmental, socio-spatial behavior; reflections on issues of symbolic and affective person-environment relationship; place attachmente concept;
- The role of Community Psychology (sense of belonging,  neighborhood,  participation and joint management with spaces) to the emergence of psychological illness;
- The concept of participative projects and the need of multidisciplinary teams (architects, planners and psychologists).
- The possibilities of intervention of the psychologist in this field: the study of person-environment relationship(s) as a means of promoting psychological well-being.

Mandatory literature

Bernardo, F. ; Impact of place attachment on risk perception: exploring the multidimensionality of risk and the scale of risk. , Revista Estudios de Psicologia, 34, 3, pp.323-329., 2013
Bernardo, F.; Palma-Oliveira, J.M.; Place Change and Identity Processes. , Revista Medio Ambiente Y Comportamiento Humano, Espanha, 6.1, pp. 71-87. , 2005. ISBN: . ISSN: 1576-6462
Gunther, H ; Environmental psychology in the interdisciplinary field of knowledge. , Psicologia, USP, 16,1-2, 179-183. , 2005
Joye, Y; Architectural Lessons from Environmental Psychology, 2007
Pol, E.; Blueprints for a History of Environmental Psychology (II):From Architectural Psychology to the challenge of sustainability. , Medio Ambiente y Comportamiento Humano. 8(1y2), 1-28, 2007
Moser, G.; Environmental psychology and people-environment studies: what kind of multidisciplinary collaboration?., Psicologia. USP,16,1-2, p.131-140, 2005
Stokols, D. & Altman, I; Handbook of Environmental Psychology., Florida, U.S.A: Krieger Publishing Company., 1991

Teaching methods and learning activities


- Presentation and discussion of the syllabus encouraging the active participation of students;
- Discussion and deepening of specific cases operationalized in many areas, including social housing, community intervention in public spaces, institutions and others,...
- Contact with intervention programs such as urban regeneration, whether domestic or foreign, and its implications for living people, and their participation in their conceptualization;
- Contact with psychologists and other professionals who have issues related to the research and intervention in this area;
- Presentation by students of a work to be discussed within the group;
The evaluation is based on the performance of  a field work using various methodologies.


Social sciences

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 30,00
Prova oral 20,00
Trabalho de campo 25,00
Trabalho escrito 25,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 24,00
Frequência das aulas 27,00
Trabalho de campo 15,00
Trabalho escrito 15,00
Total: 81,00

Eligibility for exams

It is recommended effective presence of the students  in 3/4 of the practical lessons given. To be aproved the student must obtain a minimum of 10 points out of 20, and each of the components of the distributed evaluation must have a minimun of 9 points out of 20 . Distributed evaluation includes the presence on classes, the field work, the presentation and discussion ok a work about a topic related in classes and it is also requested a paper with a) the identification of the main content, b) the objectives to be achieved and c) the bibliography consulted. All the components of the distributed evaluation  must be organized in small groups (2 a 3 elements each).  The final classification results from the arithmetical mean of both quotations and will be expressed in a 0-20 scale.

Calculation formula of final grade

Evaluation is distributed and the final classification results from the arithmetical mean the several quotations  of each component and will be expressed in a 0-20 scale.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Although students workers do not need to conform to the request of 3/4 presence in classes, they need to fulfill the other requirements. Accoording to  the official regulation of the FPCEUP (cf.artº. 9º)

Classification improvement

The grade improvement occurs  with re-singning for the CU the following year, aside regulation.
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