Urban Psychology: Its history and current status

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Urban psychology, George Simmel, Stanley Milgram, nervous energy


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


"What impact has city life on the individual--our behavior, personality, values, relationships?" George Simmel's 1905 publication of "The metropolis and mental life" remains a seminal essay on this central yet neglected question which we now term "urban psychology." The centenary of Simmel's essay in 2005 is an apt time to take stock of the history and current status of urban psy- chology, with a special issue of this journal gathering data-based articles on diverse aspects of urban psychology. This four-part article (a) summarizes Simmel's 1905 essay, (b) comments on the dramatic population trends since 1905, (c) elaborates on 10 remarkable points about urban psychology, past and present, and (d) previews the five urban pychology reports in this special issue.

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