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 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 ***** contribute to a successful soci*****l, private and work life, and ***** is a key factor in creating a positive environmental setting.

Why We Need *****

There are many theories as to why people need privacy. Many psychologists believe ***** 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 ***** to ***** personal ***** ***** avoid various stressors associated with very close proximity. This group says that ***** ***** 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 ***** privacy. According to Altman, ***** is an interpersonal boundary process by which people control interactions with others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***** within 10 minutes

***** 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 a*****;

*****: privacy, within 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 ***** be ***** within gro***** situations.



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