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

Why We ***** Privacy

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

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

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

Through variations in the extent of their private space, ***** make sure ***** their desired ********** 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 situation ********** 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 lone patients at a d*****tance of six inches and s***** down. If ***** participant attempted to move away, the ***** moved so ***** to maintain a close proximity. The majority of ***** group showed signs of discom*****t ***** many got up and left.

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

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

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

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

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

***** *****s ***** this study were:

Left within 10 minutes

Still working after half-hour






***** Factors

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

Solitude: total visual privacy;

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

*****: 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 to be ***** within gro***** situations.



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