Place and the Promise of Conservation Psychology

Suzanne Bott, James G. Cantrill, Olin Eugene Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The diverse literature related to "place" is discussed in the context of several psychological frameworks to highlight connections to conservation psychology research and practice. The study of the human relationship to place is first cross-cut by distinctions between built versus natural places, explanatory versus normative stances, and humanistic versus scientific approaches. Several typographies are then provided as ways to organize some of the psychological research related to place. Place perception and cognition provide insights into mental and collective representations of place. Affective or emotional constructs, such as place attachment and dependence, offer ways to consider the strong bonds people form with places, which can be significant factors in land management. Place identity research describes how a person may have a sense of belonging in a place, and how this may vary with background variables. Finally, development of a sense of place is examined for both children and adults. Lessons for mental health, education, and communication, and public involvement in adaptive ecosystem management are suggested, and illustrated by experiences in the Great Lakes region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Ecology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Conservation psychology and place theory
  • Environmental management
  • Place attachment
  • Place identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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