Environmental Psychology Laboratory

Dept. of Psychology, University of Melbourne             Research director: Assoc. Prof. Bernd ROHRMANN

In December 2009 I retired, and in January 2010 my Lab was closed. Below is a brief description of its agenda and history.


Research issues:

The main research themes for this laboratory are: How do humans perceive and evaluate built and natural environments? How do they deal with environmental hazards? How can information and communication about environmental risks be improved? In addition, methodological issues are pursued.

Projects (Rohrmann):

The research agenda includes the following projects (some in collaboration with colleagues):

SPP Soundscapes in public places <including cross-cultural studies in Austria, Germany, Holland>
AFI Appraisal of audio-visual fire information & preparedness means <focus on websites>
PIB The potential of the internet for enhancing residents' bushfire preparedness <project within the Bushfire CRC>
ASR Assessment of simulated and real environments <with Prof I. Bishop>
VEP Virtual environment presentations: perception and appraisal <with Dr L. Toet & Drs J. Houtkamp, Utrecht University>
RPX Risk perception in 'western' and 'eastern' cultures <Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Singapore>
RAC Risk attitudes - a cross-cultural psychometric study <phase I completed; phase II underway in HongKong/China>
VEQ Verbal qualifiers for rating scales used in environmental studies <conducted in Australia; and in HongKong with Prof W. Au>>

For project descriptions cf. the links provided on the frontpage. Note: SPP, VEP, RPX are still running.

Research assistants:

Erika Anear, Nicole Besley, Chhavi Bhandari, Maja Graham, Poonam Sharma. Temporarily: Denise Fernando, Echo Leung, Anne Makin, Maria Vassos, Fu Nojima, Yu Zhao. Note: Erika Anear and Chhavi Bhandari will be maintained within 'Roman Research Road'.

Adjunct professor:

The Environmental Psychology Laboratory has an Adjunct Professor, Terry Daniel (Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tuscon/AR, USA), who is an environmental psychologist and has worked in the laboratory for one month each in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

Student projects:

Since 1995, Honours, Masters and PhD students have contributed empirical studies on Environmental Psychology issues, e.g., M. Blanchet, T. Clifopoulos, N. Houchin, E. Hun, S. Pedell, A. Ryan, A. Saunders, N. Wilson. NOTE: Students who are interested in conducting a project (Honours / Masters / PhD thesis) within the context of the Environmental Psychology Laboratory are welcome; contact mail {at} rohrmannspace.net.

Furthermore, the lab has frequently hosted guests students from Austria, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland.


Every second year a workshop, the "Melbourne Multidisciplinary Risk Research Roundtable" [2M3R] is conducted, focussing on environmental hazards and pertinent social-science research (info=2M3R). The last one in 2009 dealt with the sociopsychological risks in environments like cafes, restaurants and pubs where loud music is played.

Updated: BR 31-01-10