How Does Environment Affect Human Behavior?

Environment affects human behavior in countless ways, including encouraging or discouraging social interaction, academic pursuits and risk-taking behaviors. The environment children grow up in can affect their entire personalities.

One of the most obvious ways environment affects human behavior is by creating a feeling of either safety or insecurity. Humans living in environments where they feel safe are more likely to create, learn and be productive, while humans living in insecure environments are likely to use most of their energy on survival and self-protection.

The environment can also impact how much stress or discomfort people feel. Studies in hospitals have shown that as little as five minutes of exposure to nature every day can reduce stress and improve moods. This can be as simple as looking out a window at a natural setting.

Studies also show that economic and social environments strongly influence people, especially children. Families that adhere to rigid gender roles are likely to have children who follow those rules. Economic circumstances and academic encouragement are also important. Children who grow up in poor homes and without much parental support for their studies generally do poorly in school compared to their more affluent and supported peers, even if they have roughly the same amount of natural intelligence. They also often have a higher number of behavioral disorders.