1st Edition

Introduction to Ecological Psychology A Lawful Approach to Perceiving, Acting, and Cognizing

By Julia J. C. Blau, Jeffrey B. Wagman Copyright 2023
    340 Pages 161 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 161 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Introduction to Ecological Psychology is a highly accessible book that offers an overview of the fundamental theoretical foundations of Ecological Psychology. The authors, Julia J.C. Blau and Jeffrey B. Wagman, provide a broad coverage of the topic, including discussion of perception-action as well as development, cognition, social interaction, and application to real world problems.

    Concepts are presented in the book using a conversational writing style and everyday examples that introduce novice readers to the problems of perception and action and demonstrate the application of the ecological approach theories to broader philosophical questions. Blau and Wagman explain how ecological psychology might be pertinent to both classic and newer issues in psychology. The authors move beyond the traditional scope of the discipline to effectively illustrate concepts of dynamics, evolution, self-organization, and physical intelligence in ecological psychology.

    This book is an essential guide to the basics for students and professionals in ecological psychology, sensation and perception, cognition, and development. It is also indispensable reading for anyone interested in ecological and developmental studies.


    List of Illustrations

    Foreword: Resources for Ecological Psychology


    Foreword: Introduction to Ecological Psychology, by Claudia Carello

    Part One. Introduction to Theory

    Chapter 1. Starting the Conversation

    Chapter 2. Where We Went Wrong

    Chapter 3. Starting Over

    Chapter 4. What is Ecological Theory?

    Part Two. Reconceptualizing Old Problems in an Ecological Way

    Chapter 5. Affordances—What is Perceived?

    Chapter 6. Ecological Optics and Visual Perception—Getting Light Into Muscle

    Chapter 7. Ecological Acoustics and Auditory Perception—Getting Sound Into Muscle

    Chapter 8. Ecological Haptics and Perception by Touch—Muscles as the Medium

    Chapter 9. Action and Coordination

    Chapter 10. Development of Perceiving and Acting Abilities

    Chapter 11. Perceiving and Acting With Others: An Ecological Social Psychology

    Chapter 12. Thinking, Learning, and Remembering

    Chapter 13. Applications of Ecological Psychology

    Part Three. Zooming Out

    Chapter 14. Dynamical Systems

    Chapter 15. Evolution

    Chapter 16. Self-Organization

    Chapter 17. Intelligent Life




    Julia J. C. Blau is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT, USA. Her research focuses on the fractality of event perception, as well as the Ecological approach to film theory and aesthetics. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ecological Psychology.

    Jeffrey B. Wagman is a Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University, USA. His research focuses on perception of affordances and perception by touch. He is a recipient of the Illinois State University Outstanding University Researcher Award and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan. He is an Associate Editor of the journal Ecological Psychology.


    "This book is a valuable contribution to the ever-growing literature inspired by James Gibson’s ecological approach to psychology. It systematically introduces newcomers to this approach by clearly examining many of its principal features, pertinent related theory, and notable research across a wide range of topics, all the while guiding readers with the assistance of an array of imaginary characters (most named after ecological psychologists) and buoyed throughout by the authors’ deft illustrations and wry humor. But don’t be fooled by its title: the book is more than an introduction. Even those readers with a prior background in this approach to psychological inquiry will learn much from this book as they are treated to a first-rate, if selective, overview of research and theory in ecological psychology as it has developed over recent decades." – Harry Heft, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Denison University

    "Finally - a thorough and approachable introduction to contemporary ecological theory. This book provides a much-needed alternative to mainstream psychological theory, a discipline wherein a vast majority of experts are unaware that an alternative approach is possible or why one is so badly needed. The book is suitable for undergraduate and graduate courses in perception, cognitive science, motor control, and human factors. Nevertheless, even seasoned researchers will find new insights in both the philosophical background and the broader context provided by the various topics covered." – Christopher Pagano, Professor of Psychology, Clemson University

    "It is well-written, witty, and explains central concepts from the ecological approach in an accessible and straightforward manner. I am sure the book will be a great source of inspiration to new students from a wide range of fields who will wish to contribute to building the ecological approach to perception and action." – Audrey van der Meer, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim