Essay - Human Need for Privacy Environmental Psychology is the Study of...

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Human Need for Privacy

Environmental psychology is the study of ***** interaction between the physical world and human behavior. In recent years, ***** topic ***** privacy has been a key aspect of this field ***** study, as research reveals that it directly relates to a sense of well being and control. A supportive physical environment has ***** proven to contribute to a successful social, private and work life, and ***** is a key f*****ctor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We Need Privacy

There are many theories as to why people need privacy. Many psychologists believe ***** people need to maintain personal space between themselves and others to avoid overstimulation. *****ccording to Scott (1993), when people are too close to one another, they ***** bombarded with too many ***** or physical stimuli.

***** *****ers argue that people ***** to ***** personal ***** to ***** various stressors associated with very close proximity. This group says that ***** ***** space is inadequate, people have feelings of arousal.

Altman (1975) views personal space as a boundary regulation mechanism needed to meet desired levels of ***** and ***** *****. According ***** Altman, privacy is an interpersonal boundary process by which people control ********** with *****.

Through variations in the extent of their private space, ***** make sure ***** their ***** ***** achieved levels of privacy are consistent. If it is impossible to control and regulate these boundaries so that the desired level of privacy is met, negative effects and coping are the result.

When people purposely invade other *****'s privacy, the s*****uation often involves ***** consequences for both parties. Felipe and Sommer (1966) conducted a ***** experiment *****t a 1,500 bed mental institution in which a stranger approached l***** patients at a d*****tance of six inches and sat down. If ***** participant attempted to move away, the ***** moved so ***** to maintain a c*****ose *****. The majority of ***** group showed signs ***** discomfort ***** many got up and left.

***** a sep*****rate experiment ***** Felipe and Sommer (1966), female students were studying at a large table with six chairs on either side of the table, ***** at least two empty chairs on either side of each subject, and one opposite. There were several experimental conditions, including:

***** experimenter s***** next to the female participant and moved his chair nearer to hers (close).

***** ***** seats away from her, leaving ***** chair in between them (distant).

Sat three seats away (distant).

***** ***** across ***** her (*****).

The results of t***** study were:

Left within 10 minutes

Still working after half-hour






Privacy Factors

Privacy can be broken down into the following classifications: Kaplan (1982)

*****: total visual privacy;

Intimacy: privacy, within a small social unit, such as a family at home alone;

*****: privacy, ***** a social *****, where one is able to observe without feeling observed; people merging with the environment;

*****: a psychological barrier against intrusion, allowing people to be ***** within group situations.



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