Defusing escalating behaviour through the use of interactive light scenarios





Yvonne de Kort, PhD, MSc 
Full professor

Environmental Psychology
Eindhoven University of Technology 
Human Technology Interaction (HTI)
PO Box 513 
The Netherlands

E-mail Y.A.W.d.Kort@tue.nl


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Environmental psychology deals with interactions between humans and their physical and social environment. As environmental psychologist I focus on the contextualised nature of human behaviour. Physical and social context frames our interactions with each other and with technology and deeply influences experience. Environmental psychology deals with interactions between humans and their physical and social environment. Traditionally, this domain has been at the crossroads of social and cognitive psychology on the one hand, and architecture and building technology on the other. Yet increasingly, we see other technologies augmenting physical spaces and sometimes even replacing them resulting in ever more complex interactions. My research efforts, still inspired by environmental psychology's perspective, are in the domain where people, spaces and technology meet.

Light, a prototypical example of a contextual element that impacts mental and physical health, vitality, cognitive performance and social interaction - often outside our scope of awareness - forms the core of my current research. On a day-to-day basis, light impacts quality of life significantly and through different pathways. Light is often used as a means to create atmospheres and can powerfully influence mood and emotion. Moreover, light impacts alertness, vitality, and performance, entrains our biological clock, regulates sleep, and is a crucial determinant of both physical and mental health. The design of environments that maintain and foster human wellbeing thus requires careful consideration of both these image forming and non-image forming pathways through which indoor light natural and artificial impacts quality of life.

A second research interest - closely related to the domain of daylight - are restorative effects of natural environments. I explore whether views of nature can improve people's mood, restore their attention, and reduce stress. Specialties: environmental psychology; psychological effects of light; restorative environments.

Find a recent overview of my publications on ResearchGate, or see research and publications.