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 the interaction between the physical world and human behavior. In recent years, the 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 ***** is a ***** factor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We ***** *****

There are many theories as to why people need privacy. Many psychologists believe that ***** need to 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.

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

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

Through variations in the extent ***** their private space, ***** make sure that their ***** 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 people purposely invade other people's privacy, the s*****uation often involves negative consequences for both parties. Felipe and Sommer (1966) conducted a field experiment *****t a 1,500 bed mental institution in which a stranger approached lone patients at a distance of six inches and sat down. If ***** participant attempted to move away, the ***** moved so as to maintain a close *****. The majority of the group showed signs ***** discom*****t ***** many got up and left.

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

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

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

Sat directly across from her (control).

***** *****s of this study were:

***** within 10 minutes

***** working after half-hour






Privacy Factors

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

*****: total visual privacy;

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

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

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



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