Psychology (PSYC) 432

Psychology and the Built Environment (Revision 4)

PSYC 432 Course Cover

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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, the 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 Environment
  • 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:

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

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

Course Materials


Gifford, R. (2014). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (5th ed.). Colville, WA: Optimal Books.

Online Materials

The course materials also include an online Course Information, a Study Guide, a Student Manual, and readings accessible in the Digital Reading Room.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about 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 4, November 8, 2016.

View previous syllabus