The objective of this article is to clarify the major weaknesses of the physical determinist perspective, to understand how the term “determinism” has been used in the field of environment-behavior research and to allay some of the fears that the idea of determinism seems to arouse in researchers. Four major weaknesses of the determinist perspective are discussed: (1) exaggerating the influence of the physical environment by ignoring or underestimating the influence of other factors; (2) assuming that the physical environment has only direct effects on behavior; (3) portraying people as passive in the environmentbehavior relationship by ignoring the role of human choice and goals; and (4) always assuming that the environment is a given and immutable entity and neglecting the processes of creating and modifying environments. Diagrams are used to illustrate different types of environment-behavior relationships and to distinguish between indirect and interaction effects of environment on behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)