Implication for the Future Teampaper Essay

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).

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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 pecific 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 control, are more competitive, and increased tendency to react negatively to minor annoyances (Straub, 2007). Perception is the revealing component of population density. For example, if there is enough space perceived the effect of crowding diminishes. Therefore, the perception of space is as important as providing more space.

The crowding effects of population density are not inevitable, and perhaps designing space in such a way to appear bigger than it actually is can have an affect psychological crowding (Straub, 2007). In any event, mitigating the perception of crowding is of consequence as space becomes a limited resource, and perceiving ample space has far reaching effects on subjective well-being and health (Straub, 2007). When the individual perceives that there is ample space, they often report the feeling of a stronger sense of control over their environment and are less prone to anxiety and stress (Straub, 2007).

The Effect of Nature on Individuals Living in Urban Environments Areas that are managed in natural settings such as parks, zoos, and reserves help create support and social context for interactions with nature. Not only do these managed areas provide interactions, but helps nurture an environmental identity that is inhibited in urban living situations. The natural settings that are found within the urban living areas encourage a perception that people should convene with nature. Maller et al. 2005) refers to the belief that was promoted during the Civil War which claimed that the influences of the natural environment has an effect on people’s health that reduced disease promotes health, supports community health, and helps reduce crime. According to DeVries, Verheij, Groenewegen, and Spreeuwenberg (2003), urban parks help play a significant role in physical activity and some research provides evidence that support the notion that people that live in urban settings reported fewer health issues.

Clayton and Myers (2008) stated that study in Japan found that the mortality rates were lower for individuals that had green spaces that are close within their residences. Furthermore, it has been found that green spaces has help reduce the stress of noise in an urban setting, even those located near severely noisy environments (Gidlofgunnarsson & Ohrstrom, 2007). Neighborhoods that have green spaces promote less violent behavior, closer interpersonal relationships, performance, better academics, and more positive social interactions between embers of the community (Clayton & Myers, 2008). Noise and its Effects on Individuals A study has shown that in chronically noisy environments, the noise will raise one’s blood pressure and cortisol levels that indicate an increased level of stress (Straub, 2007). It has been found that chronic exposure to noise will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and decrease learning ability. Therefore, young children are vulnerable to the effects of chronic noise as they are learning maladaptive skills that help provoke them to block specific stimuli.

This is problematic since children do not have the ability to fully understand which stimuli to block and which ones are essential for their learning experience (Straub, 2007). The verbal skills are then decreased because when children learn to block noise they might be blocking verbal elements that are needed. According to Straub (2007), as the investigation into the study of chronic noise effects in the laboratory settings show louder noises do disrupt the short term memory and decreases the ability for one to perform simple tasks.

Even though the noise may not be directly responsible for stress, the effects on sleep, anxiety, and subjective attitude towards the noise does have a direct effect on the individual’s health (Straub, 2007). Noise Reduction Strategies To everyone’s dismay, many outside noise find their way into our homes and there is little one can do to control such noises. Ways one can reduce the noise coming into our homes is by installing additional fabrics over the windows or have stuffed furnishings. However, noise can travel very easily through glass than wall due to insulation.

Therefore, covering the windows with extra layers of fabric such as blinds or curtains can reduce the amount of noise that can enter into the home through our windows (Gaddis, n. d. ). Carpeting one’s home can help absorb the sound waves much better if one had hard floors that increase sounds when it bounces off the tile or wood floors (Gaddis, n. d. ). Auditory Masking for Noise Reduction “Auditory masking is when the perception of one sound is affected by the presence of another sound. Masking can be simultaneous or non-simultaneous” (Pro Audio Support, 2011, para. ). One way to effectively mask sound waves is by adding natural or artificial sounds (often referred to as white noise) into many environments. White noise is often used in a home setting where intrusive noises that comes from external sources in which they become a problem (Hawkins, 1950. ) Sound masking machines tend to be very expensive and use very little electricity to run. Instead of purchasing a sound masking machine, an individual can run a fan, or turn the television for background noise that will effectively block out other noises.

Conclusion One’s personal space, privacy, and territoriality involve the personal choice and perception of the used space for normal functioning. The psychological effects on the perception vary between individuals, but limited space does have a profound effect on humans. Where space is limited such as urban areas, individual behavior tend to be more aggressive and violent, have poor academic performance, and a negative social interaction between communities can be observed (Clayton & Myers, 2008).

Noise that are intrusive can cause severe annoyance depending on the individual interprets and perceives the intrusion (Straub, 2007). Noise reduction strategies can range to a simple fix to a complex solution, but is worthwhile when individuals have little control over anxiety and stress provoking noise.


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