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

Why We Need Privacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Left within 10 minutes

Still working after half-hour






Privacy 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, ***** a social setting, 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 ***** situations.



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