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

Why We Need *****

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

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

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

Through variations in the extent ***** *****ir private space, people make sure ***** their desired and achieved levels of privacy are consistent. If it is impossible to control ***** 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 *****ten involves negative 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 distance of six inches ***** sat down. If the participant attempted to move away, ***** ***** ********** so as to maintain a c*****ose proximity. The majority of the group showed signs of discom*****t and many got up and left.

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

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

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

Sat three seats away (distant).

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

The results of t***** study were:

Left within 10 minutes

Still working after half-hour






Privacy Factors

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

Solitude: total visual privacy;

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

*****: privacy, within a social setting, where one is able to observe without feeling observed; people merging with the environment;

Reserve: a psychological barrier against intrusion, allowing people to be ***** within ***** situations.



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