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    GLOBAL ENVIORNMENT

    GLOBAL ENVIORNMENT	
    Dr. Stokol- article addresses not one current event but many, all greatly affecting the field of environmental psychology. These are such disasters as Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Lebanon War and the Indian Ocean Tsunami to name but a few.   The article seeks to investigate how the current rapid catastrophic changes are affecting the makeup of human environments at both local and global levels. Also the impact if any, on personal and public health.
    	Each environmental change discussed occurs by the same method:
    "(a) Identify major categories of
    global change (e.g., technological, geophysical, and social
    forces) that have altered the organization and functioning
    of local settings and communities in recent decades; (b)
    present new theoretical questions and conceptual frameworks
    to better understand how global conditions are restructuring
    people- relationships with their sociophysical
    surroundings; (c) trace the influence of these global and
    local environmental changes on individuals’ cognition, behavior,
    and well-being; and (d) consider promising directions
    for psychological research and practice that can help
    reduce global threats to personal and collective well-being".
    (Stokols, 2009, para. 10)
    	The first change discussed is the onset of the Internet into everyday life. This insinuation of instant information and communication from wherever a person is.  Is considered to have blurred the boundaries between a person's public and private lives. Research on the environmental psychology of digital communication technologies (e.g. cell phones, Internet) has shown that people's increasing use and dependence on these technologies is changing the face of human/virtual environments; they are becoming "polyfunctional.” That is, they serve more than one purpose at a time.
    	There are drawbacks to this hybridization of our human to virtual environments. This influx of information our routines are more fragmented as people pause frequently to take it all in. Wireless technologies, unfortunately, can fail. When they do fail, everything stops; as a result of our dependence on them. Cognitive and affective disorders are beginning an association to the pressures of multitasking and handling large amounts of information daily.
    	Perhaps worst of all is the impact it is developing on society interpersonally.  As the access to information allows job hours to increase, hours spent spousal and parentally decrease.  Sites such as Myspace and Facebook seem to encourage the collection of superficial friend one hardly knows, undermining the social cohesion of local communities. 
    	Global warming and the depletion of natural resources is briefly introduced as a second societal change causing a "heightened sense of awareness and an altering" in peoples sense of security. (Stokols, 2009) Stokols notes that when considering changes of such a global impact and human response to them, it is necessary to "(a) address the links between local and global events, (b) encompass collective as well as individual efforts to cope with impending threats, and (c) incorporate an extended rather than narrow time perspective". (Stokols ,2009)
    	The third category of societal unrest discussed is the ever expanding breach between people of differing races, religions, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels. This area is thought to have a particular impact on citizens' worries about personal and combined safety.
    	One significant fear is that those unable to come to grips with their worries about remote environmental threats will begin to experience topophobia, or "chronic fear associated with particular places". (Stokols, 2009)  For instance, if a downtown transport depot was targeted by terrorists, which fear would then begin to spread to all transportation depots. 
    Another feared possibility is that some will have become so inured to reports of the plights of the impoverished or sites of natural disasters that they will be unable to relate. 
    	A call for socially mediated restoration efforts is given. Amidst the social, technological, economic, and ecologic crises such as information overload global warming, terrorist attacks, and the "digital divide," psychological stress caused by rapid environmental changes must be dealt with.  Some deal with these stressors on their own, escaping to "restorative wilderness areas" regularly to relax and regain their perspective. Others because of scheduling or even choice choose a more urban setting over this rural pastoral offering.  Collaboration with others provides the restoration and enjoyment necessary for them. 
    	What is proposed is a new area of study on this subject, addressing several areas of interest but ultimately encouraging individuals joining communities to promote environmental and social collaboration and justice. 
     
    
    Reference
    Stokols, D., Misra, S., Runnerstrom, M.G., Hipp, J. A. "Psychology in an Age of Ecological Crisis."   
               American Psychologist, 2009: 181-193.
    
    
    
    

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  1. The first major change which is discussed is the onset of the internet in the daily life. The implic
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