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 of privacy has been a key aspect of this field of 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 soci*****l, private and work life, and privacy is a ***** f*****ctor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We Need *****

There are many theories as to why people need *****. Many psychologists believe ***** ***** 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 social or physical stimuli.

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

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

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

When people purposely invade other people's privacy, the s*****uation often involves negative consequences for both parties. Felipe and Sommer (1966) conducted a ***** experiment at 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, the stranger *****d so as to maintain a c*****ose proximity. The majority of ***** group showed signs of discomfort ***** many got up and left.

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

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

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

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

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

Left within 10 minutes

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

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



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