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This podcast discusses the interrelationship between perceived physical environments, group processes and well-being. It focuses on contexts where the physical environment is perceived to be (potentially) harmful or even destructive. These kinds of context can result from relatively rapid events such as natural, technological or natural hazard triggering technological disasters (natech disasters), but they can also cover contexts where the (potential) environmental threat is slow-moving and even invisible, and its effects are contested. The talk focuses especially on the latter context and it presents a research program that has analyzed how indoor environmental problems (e.g., poor indoor air quality) shape groups and the well-being of their members. In reviewing this literature, Professor Finell aims to demonstrate that problems in perceived physical environments are related to many processes that are both theoretically and empirically relevant to social psychology (e.g., social exclusion, black sheep effect, intergroup processes, discrimination, and group identity).

The lecture was held during EASP Summer School 2022 organized by SWPS University, Faculty of Psychology in Wroclaw, European Association of Social Psychology and Social Behavior Research Center.



Eerika Finell is a professor of social psychology at the University of Eastern Finland. She has completed her PhD degree at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests lay on intragroup processes, and how they shape people’s experience, well-being, attitudes, and intergroup relations. Her multimethod research has analysed these issues in two fields: i) multicultural contexts and national identity, and ii) environmental threats. In these fields, she has been especially focused on slow moving and often unnoticed everyday phenomena and on groups that may find it difficult to make their voices heard such as children and migrant mothers. Currently, she is leading two research programmes: one focusing on mothers’ intergroup contacts (Funded by Kone foundation) and the other on the psychosocial effects of building-related health problems in schools (Funded by the Academy of Finland).

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