Physical Factors Influencing Place Identity in Higher Education Environments (Case Study: Islamic Azad University South Tehran Branch)

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, South Tehran Branch,Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 M.Arch., Faculty of Art and Architecture, South Tehran branch,Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Developing students' academic identityisessentialforachieving academic success in universities.In this regard, environmental psychologists believe that physical context directly affects the level of ones' place identity. In other words, more positive assessment of the environment results in higher place identity. It implies that the designer can strengthen the bond between person and place by detecting and improving the effective environmental factors.Accordingly, the aim of this study was to identify the physical attributes that improvestudents' place identityin higher education spaces. For this purpose,after evaluating the students' place identity and their satisfaction with the physical context, the link between the quality of eachphysical element and students' place identity was investigated. The population of the study includedall the students of Islamic Azad University South Tehran Branch in 2013-2014 academic year. According to Cochran formulas,asample consisting of 379 studentsfrom Faculties of Art and Architecture, Engineering, and Sciences was proportionally selected. Data collection instrument was a researcher-made questionnaire which the calculated Alpha coefficient and fitness indices proveditsvalidity and reliability. Correlation and multiple regression analyses wereconducted to examine the relationship between mentioned variables. Theresultsindicate thatthe quality of the acoustic conditions, access to public transport & intrusive reflections are irrelevant to students' level of place identity.Above all, satisfaction with the amount of green space, quality of lighting, accessibility and indoor thermal conditions, are the most important physical factors influencing students'place identity in higher education environments.


  1. BagheriHeidari, F. (2016). Effective factors on academic Identity of students (Case Study: Payame Noor, Azad and None-Profit University), Iranian Journal of Culture in the Islamic University17(5): 587-600.(In Persian.)
  2. Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V. &Pastorelli, C. (1996). Multifaceted impact of self-efficacy beliefs on academic functioning. Child Development: 1206-1222.
  3. Benya, J. R. (2001). Lighting for schools. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
  4. Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. NY: Wiley.
  5. Burgess, B. & Kaya, N. (2007). Gender differences in student attitude for seating layout in Faculty classrooms. Faculty Student Journal 41: 940-946.
  6. Byrne, B. M. (1994). Structural equation modeling with EQS and EQS .Windows. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  7. Cheryan, S., Ziegler, S. A., Plaut, V. C. &Meltzoff, A. N. (2014). Designing classrooms to maximize student achievement. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1(1):4-12.
  8. Choi, N. (2005). Self-efficacy and self-concept as predictors of Faculty students' academic performance. Psychology in the Schools 42(2):197-205.
  9. Chow, K. & Healey, M. (2008). Place attachment and place identity: First-year undergraduates making the transition from home to university. Journal of Environmental Psychology 28(4): 362-372.
  10. Decandia, G. M. (2014). Relationships between academic identity and academic achievement in low-income urban adolescents (Doctoral dissertation, Rutgers University-Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology).
  11. Edwards, L. &Torcelli, P. (2002). A literature review of the effects of natural light on building occupants. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  12. Emamgholi, A., Ayvazian, S., Zadehmohammadi, A. &Eslami, G. (2013). Environmental psychology: the common field between architecture and behavioral sciences, Journal of Behavioral Sciences 14(4): 23- 44.(In Persian.)
  13. Fritz, Steele.(1981) the sense of place. Boston. CBI publishing company.
  14. GhasemiEsfahani, M. (2004). Where am I from? (Identification to residential textures). Rozane Pub., Tehran.(In Persian.)
  15. Ghasemi, V. (2010). Structural equation modeling in social studies using Amos Graphics, Tehran: sociologists.(In Persian.)
  16. Golrokh, Sh. (2013). Place and Personal Identity:The Role of the physical environment in Creation the sense of self, ShahrvaMemari-e-Bumi 3(3): 97-108. (In Persian.)
  17. Harmon, D. (2006). People, Places, and Parks: Proceedings of the 2005 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Hancock, Michigan: TheGeorge Wright Society.
  18. Hemmati, R., Kianpour, M.&Aslani, Sh. (2015). Typology of academic identity and its relationship with the Intra-Academic resources of identification, Iranian Journal of Culture in the Islamic University 13(4): 559-586.(In Persian.)
  19. Hooman, H. A. (2005). Structural equation modeling with LISREL software application, Samtpublishings, first printing.(In Persian.)
  20. Hu, L.T.&Bentler, P.M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives," Structural Equation Modeling 6(1): 1-55.
  21. Kaviani Rad, M. &Fattahi, M. (2002). The convergence of national identity, Journal of the Faculty of Humanities 16(5): 24-42.(In Persian.)
  22. Klatte, M., Bergstroem, K. &Lachmann, T. (2013). Does noise affect learning? A short review on noise effects on cognitive performance in children. Frontiers in Psychology 4:1-6.
  23. Lampert, J. N. (2007). The relationship of self-efficacy and self-concept to academic performance in a Faculty sample: Testing competing models and measures (Master's thesis, Pacific University).
  24. Lewicka, M. (2008). Place attachment, place identity, and place memory: restoring the forgotten city past, Journal of Environmental Psychology 28: 209-231.
  25. Martin, S. H. (2002). The classroom environment and its effects on the practice of teachers. Journal of Environmental Psychology 22:139-156.
  26. McCoy, J. M. (2002). Work environments. Handbook of environmental psychology :443-460.
  27. Naghizadeh, M. &Toghiani, Sh. (2012). The Necessity of Identity Crises Management in Urban Spaces, Hoviat- e - Shahr9(5): 73 - 82.(In Persian.)
  28. Pakzad, J. (1996). Identity and identity of space, Saffeh Journal21-22.(In Persian)
  29. Peetsma, T. &Van der Veen, I. (2011). Relations between the development of future time perspective in three life domains, investment in learning, and academic achievement. Learning and Instruction 21(3): 481-494.
  30. Proshansky, H. M., Fabian, A. K. &Kaminoff, R. (1983). Place-Identity: physical world
  31. proshunsky, H. M. (1978).The city and self- identity. Environment and Bihavior10(2):147-169.
  32. Rezazade, R. (2001). The crisis of perceptional-behavioral in Urban spaces, Journal of municipalities: 5-11.(In Persian)
  33. Rosenbaum, M. S. &Massiah, C. (2011). An expanded services cape perspective. Journal of Service Management 22(4):471-490.
  34. Schneider, M. (2002). Do school facilities affect academic outcomes?  Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
  35. Schumacker, R. E. & Lomax, R. G. (2004). A beginner's guide to structural equation modeling, Second edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  36. Schunk, D. H. (1991). Self-efficacy and academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, : 207-231
  37. Steinberg, L., Graham, S., O’Brien, L., Woolard, J., Cauffman, E. &Banich, M. (2009). Age differences in future orientation and delay discounting. Child development: 28-44.
  38. Sturner, W. F. (1972). Environmental code: Creating a sense of place on the Facultyopen space. The Journal of Higher Education: 97-109.
  39. Tanner, C. K. (2008). Explaining relationships among student outcomes and the school’s physical environment. Journal of Advanced Academics: 444-471.
  40. Twigger-Ross, C. L. &Uzzell, D. L. (1996). Place and identity processes.Journal of environmental psychology 16(3): 205-220.
  41. Ullman, J. B. (2001). Structural equation modeling. In B. G. Tabachnick& L. S. Fidell (2001). Using Multivariate Statistics (4th ed& pp 653- 771). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  42. Wannarka, R. &Ruhl, K. (2008). Seating arrangements that promote positive academic and behavioural outcomes: A review of empirical research. Support for Learning 23: 89-93.
  43. Williams, D. R.&Vaske, J. J. (2003).The measurement of place attachment: validity and generalizability of a psychometric approach. Forest Science 49 (6): 830–840.