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 of 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 and work life, ***** ***** is a ***** factor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We ***** Privacy

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

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

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

Through variations in the extent ***** *****ir private space, people make sure that their desired and achieved levels of ***** are consistent. If it is impossible ***** 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 ***** experiment at a 1,500 bed ment*****l institution in which a stranger approached lone patients at a distance of six inches and sat down. If the participant attempted to move away, ***** ***** moved so ***** to maintain a close *****. The majority of the group showed signs ***** discom*****t and many got up and left.

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

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

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

Sat three seats away (*****).

Sat ***** across from her (*****).

***** *****s of t***** study were:

Left within 10 minutes

***** working after half-hour






***** Factors

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

*****: total visual privacy;

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

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

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



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