Psychology (PSYC) 432

Psychology and the Built Environment (Revision 3)

PSYC 432 Course website

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 289, PSYC 290, and a senior-level psychology or social science course are recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 432 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Course website

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This course examines the transactions between people and their everyday physical environment. Topics include environmental perception and cognition, environmental stressors such as noise, spatial behaviour such as personal space and territoriality, physical settings where we live, work, and learn, and designing for more fitting environments.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Environmental Perception and Cognition
  • Unit 3: Ambient Environments
  • Unit 4: Personal Space and Territoriality
  • Unit 5: Privacy and Crowding
  • Unit 6: Our Residences
  • Unit 7: Our Cities and Communities
  • Unit 8: Our Schools
  • Unit 9: Our Workplaces
  • Unit 10: Designing More Fitting Environments


To receive credit for PSYC 432, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. If you receive less than 50 percent on your final exam, your final exam mark will become your course grade. The weighting of assignments is as follows:

Written Exercise Two Quizzes Course Project Final Exam Total
10% 15% 40% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Gifford, R. (2007). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (4th ed.). Colville, WA: Optimal Books.

Other Materials Online

The course materials include study guide, student manual, and a reading file accessible at the course website.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

Please contact the course coordinator for the challenge process.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, February 11, 2010.

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