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, ***** 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 been proven ***** contribute to a successful social, private and work life, and privacy is a ***** f*****ctor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We Need Privacy

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

***** researchers argue that people need to maintain personal space ***** avoid various stressors associated with very close 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 ***** privacy. ***** ***** Altman, ***** is an interpersonal ***** process by which people control interactions with others.

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

When ***** purposely invade other people's privacy, the situation often involves ***** consequences for both parties. Felipe ***** Sommer (1966) conducted a field experiment at a 1,500 bed ment*****l institution in which a stranger approached l***** patients at a distance of six inches and s***** down. If the participant attempted to move away, ***** stranger moved so as to maintain a close *****. The majority of the group showed signs of discomfort ***** many got up and left.

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

The experimenter s***** next to the ***** participant and moved hi***** chair ne*****r ***** hers (*****).

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

***** directly across from her (*****).

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

Left within 10 minutes

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

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



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