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

Why We Need Privacy

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

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

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

Through variations in the extent ***** their private space, people make sure that their ***** and achieved levels of privacy 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 people's privacy, the s*****uation often involves ***** consequences for both parties. Felipe ***** Sommer (1966) conducted a ***** 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 the participant attempted to move away, ***** ***** moved so ***** to maintain a close proximity. The majority of the group showed signs of discom*****t and many got up and left.

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

***** experimenter s***** next to the female participant and moved his chair nearer ***** hers (*****).

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

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

The results of this study were:

Left within 10 minutes

Still working after half-hour






Privacy Factors

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

*****: total visual privacy;

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

Anonymity: 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 to be themselves ***** ***** situations.



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