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

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

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

Some *****ers argue that people ***** to ***** personal space to ***** 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 mechanism needed to meet desired levels of ***** and ***** *****. According ***** Altman, privacy is an interpersonal boundary process by which people control ********** with *****.

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

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

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

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

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

***** ***** across from her (control).

The *****s of this 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;

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

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 within ***** situations.



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