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 ***** contribute to a successful soci*****l, private ***** work life, and privacy is a ***** factor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We Need *****

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

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

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

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

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

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

The experimenter sat next to the female participant and ***** his chair ne*****r to hers (close).

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

Sat directly across ***** her (control).

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

***** within 10 minutes

***** working after half-hour






Privacy Factors

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

Solitude: total visual privacy;

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

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

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



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