December 1, 2014
PSY/460 Environmental Psychology
Population density and noise can affect the human population in many different ways.
Humans have developed their private space, personal space and territories that can be affected by noise and population density. Agitation and anxiety may result when a person’s personal space is invaded, or when their privacy and territorial space is violated. (Straub, 2007). Privacy can be considered that area of their life they have chosen to keep to themselves or their group. These areas usually concern themselves with the information an individual decides to keep private. Individuals have different needs when deciding what to keep to themselves. Situations and experiences affect an individual’s privacy issues. Every individual is part of a culture, and depending on what culture a person is part of will affect their individual privacy choices (Clayton & Myers, 2009). Comfort is important for humans and people create an amount of physical area known as personal space to optimize their comfort. This personal space is the modality for creating a private space for them. If a person’s personal space is compromised is can cause discord, agitation, and anxiety (Steg, 2013). This area is invisible and a subconscious area which divides them from other people that maintains their comfort zone. Each person maintains a different type and size of personal space. Each person’s personal space is influenced by the individual, culture, environment and situation. In a work environment a person may maintain a larger personal space, yet a personal, intimate conversation may decrease the size of their personal space and not be affected by invasions as readily (Clayton & Myers, 2009). A person’s perception of their territory includes a strong preventative and reactive action known as territoriality. These territorial areas are defined and outlined by verbal communication, environmental markers, and signs. A person marking their territory may do so by using verbal cues or behaving in such a way that identifies when someone may be intending to enter their territory. These areas may be protected using physical methods including violence. Violent behaviors may rise out of person’s need to defend their territory. In the animal kingdom, animals may be protective in this manner, humans are no different and may act in this manner to defend one’s land, family, spouse, or children. Once a territory is determined, one must determine how to defend it, protecting it revolves around how it is defined (Clayton & Myers, 2009). As the population continues to increase, the concepts of privacy, territoriality, and personal space have increased in importance. Using rats, an experiment was conducted to assess the effects of crowding. These particular rats were behaving is such a way as to be determined normal when adequate living space was provided, however as the living space diminished the rats behavior changed. In this experiment, rats began fighting to protect their perceived territory. The belief is that overcrowding affects humans in a similar way that it did the rats (Staub, 2007). Mental issues and physical responses may occur in areas where humans feel crowded. Manifestations of overcrowding may be increased signs of agitation, irritation, crime, and withdrawal from society. To fill one’s need for security people should pay more attention to their privacy, personal space and territory. A person may experience a loss of control as their personal space feels threatened by population increases (Straub, 2007). Population density is unstoppable. It continues to grow at an alarming rate. People must adapt their current mindset on dealing with this issue to maintain their sense of privacy, personal space, and territory. In adapting people may need to change their perception of space. These adjustments