Stevens, P., 2010. Embodied mind, embedded self: Living as part of the natural world. In: BPS Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section Annual Conference "Nature and Human Nature", 10-12 September 2010, St. Anne's College, University of Oxford. (Unpublished)
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Official URL: http://conex.bps.org.uk/events/cep_2010.cfm
The concept of embodiment is well known: that our behaviours, motivations, thoughts and feelings are both generated and constrained by our physical nature. But, as is common with standard psychology approaches, this can serve to reify the notion of a world of individuals: isolated, separated bodies passing through an external environment in much the same way as actors play out their roles against a painted backdrop. Moreover, as psychologists, we attempt to abstract the variables that we want to study, isolating our participants in a 'controlled' (often artificial) environment in the belief that this then represents a pure or baseline effect, free (as much is practically possible) from 'confounding' variables (i.e., the rest of the world). While demonstrably successful in many ways, there is a downside: a neglect of the environment in any meaningful way in much of our theoretical and practical work. So much so that even the mainstream topic of environmental psychology is seen as a separate area of psychology rarely considered by those working in other areas. Ecopsychology, with its roots in systems theory and deep ecology, suggests a different view: the environment is not a scene through which we move but the medium within which we are embedded. Using examples of people's experiences of restorative environments, along with findings from empirical research, I will describe how we are an integral part of the place we are in: how it shapes, connects, and guides us. As embodied beings, we can only fully understand who we are by having an awareness of our physical nature; as “embedded” beings, self-understanding can only come if we are equally aware of our physical environment. The concept of embedment – that our inclusion in an environment is an essential part or characteristic of our selves – means that who we are is intimately connected to where we are.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Group:||School of Design, Engineering & Computing > Psychology Research Group|
|Deposited By:||Dr Paul Stevens LEFT|
|Deposited On:||22 Jul 2011 18:48|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:47|
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