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The Effects of Population Density and Noise
Buffy Welch
October 22, 2012
PSY/ 460
Jennifer McBlaine

Population density and noise has an effect on individuals in many different ways. When an individual’s privacy, territory, personal space has been infringed upon by another or the chronic to short-term noise has an effect on an individual that ranges from simple annoyance to severe intrusive anxiety- producing illness (Straub, 2007). As the population density increases every year, an individual personal space, privacy, and territory have been encroached. As a result, there has to be some accommodations to meet the demands to prevent the psychological effects of crowding to prevent anxiety, frustrations, and aggression. Understanding Territoriality, Privacy, and Personal Space

Privacy
Altman (1977) stated that privacy is “Selective control of access to the self or to one’s group” (pg. 67). Privacy involves the control over the information about oneself as well as the control over the interactions with others (Hutchinson & Kowalski, 1999). In the contemporary society, the new technologies raise some concern about how to control the information of others. This has been forced defining the balance of privacy issues versus public knowledge. The privacy needs and values do vary between individuals, situations, and cultures (Clayton & Myers, 2008). Territoriality

Human territoriality encompasses the temporarily durable preventive and reactive behaviors that include ones perception, the use of defense on one’s place, objects, ideas, and other individuals by the means of verbal and environmental prop behaviors in response to implied or actual presence of others and in response to the properties of the environment that is geared to satisfying the primary and secondary motivational states of individuals and groups (Edney, 1974, p. 963). Human’s survival is not based on territoriality. Humans, just like animals, maintain space by showing specific behaviors that shows that a particular space is owned or being used. A human has the ability to demonstrate aggressive behavior, attack, and maintain other intrinsic reactions towards encroachment. Research has suggested that it is important to emphasize ecological variables as major factors in determining territoriality and it becomes important to address the proclivity to defend resources as a factor of increasing human territoriality (Dyson-Hudson & Smith, 1978). As critical resources become limited, humans tend protect their personal space and belongings. Territoriality, Privacy, and Personal Space as Population Density Increases

Straub (2007) referred to the study that John Calhoun in which he experimented with population density within living conditions of rats. According to his study, the rats would behave normally by all the standards when there was enough space in which they could live. However, when the population started to increase, the rat’s social environment would deteriorate. The rats would become territorial, fought, their reproductive capacity would diminish, their young would die off, and some rats would eat other rats. Although these findings might not be address human behavior under the same conditions, population density does have its effects on the population.

Population density contributes to some of the psychological effects of people when it comes to crowding in which they feel confined and have limited space to access necessities. Crowding has been linked to aggression, social withdrawal, increased criminal acts, and inappropriate social interaction (Stokols, 1972). In order to decrease the symptoms of crowding, it is necessary to preserve personal space, privacy, and honor the territoriality of basic human social needs. For example, as the space decreases, the privacy and personal space demands the acknowledgment in order to prevent psychological effects. Without the personal space and privacy, people tend to feel they have lost...
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