Effects Of Population Density On Individuals Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Transportation - Environmental Issues Type: Essay Paper: #49986268 Related Topics: Noise Pollution, Workplace Privacy, Ecology, Cause And Effect
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Territoriality, Privacy, and Personal Space


In order to comprehend territory's significance- or that of any manifestation of territory, such as states, nations, homelands or landscapes - it is expedient to start by considering the raw material that supports these structures. The raw material mentioned above is known as 'space'; it is extraordinarily difficult to give a definition to space. Through territoriality, individual places are built, and this process enables individuals to utilize the emotional and material scope of space. Boundaries are created when individuals create territories; these unite as well as divide space together with all that it encompasses. By combining particular resources and some individuals and detaching them from others, symbolic meaning is given to the notion of them and us, and theirs and ours (Penrose, 2002).

With regard to space's material power, this signifies that territoriality converts resources essential to survival of human beings into our own resources, essential for our own survival. This is vital as availability of certain resources, and inaccessibility of others restricts the way individuals can live. This successively reinforces society's cohesiveness, which is demarcated by territory (Penrose, 2002).


A statutory right to privacy has been declared by the nation's Supreme Court- this right is extensive enough to defend abortion and use of contraception. The Privacy Act was enacted by Congress in 1974 following long hearings. Discussions seem to suggest a broad consensus regarding the importance and distinctness of privacy, which must be coherent in three distinct contexts. Firstly, a neutral notion of privacy should be maintained, that allows one to recognize when a lack of privacy occurs so that claims and debates of privacy are intelligible. Secondly, privacy as a merit should have coherence, for claims to legally protect privacy are forceful only if privacy losses are sometimes unwelcome and if they are unwelcome for comparable reasons. Lastly, privacy should be a notion valuable in legal situations, a notion that allows one to recognize those occasions that call for legal safety, as the law doesn't intercede to protect one from all undesirable events (Gavison, 1980).

Our day-to-day speech indicates that we perceive the notion of privacy as really being useful and coherent in the 3 contexts, and loss of privacy (which the first context identifies), privacy invasions (which the second identifies) and illegal breaches of privacy (which the third identifies) are interrelated in that all are subsets of the preceding category. Making use of the same term in each context reinforces the idea that all are interconnected. Reductionist evaluations of privacy, i.e. evaluations that deny the value of privacy as being a distinct concept dissolve these linguistic and conceptual relations (Gavison, 1980).

Personal Space

Personal space's role has been a subject of various theoretical assumptions (see Evans & Howard, 1973). Relevant to this study are Goffman's (1971), Sommer's (1959), Altman's (1979), and Hall's (1964, 1966) opinions that personal space works in a protective and regulatory manner in the person's associations with others. The significance of privacy was emphasized by Altman. Hall associated personal space with a defensive "bubble" that surrounds the individual. Personal space was directly linked to the person's self, as well as its social-interaction vicissitudes, by Goffman. Scholars identified four characteristics that define personal space: personal space is moveable; its psychological and geographic core is the person's body; it demarcates itself from the remaining environment through invisible borders; intrusion by others into it arouses discomfort and causes the person to retreat (Horner, 1983).

On the basis of several studies of body and ego boundaries, the dimensions of one's personal space varies in accordance with fluctuating organismic, social and psychological conditions, and individuals are semipermeable based on the extent of intimacy that exists between interactants. Lastly, personal space actions are a crucial aspect of communication regarding the self (Horner, 1983).

Increasing importance of the concepts of territoriality, privacy, and personal space as populations become denser

Populations are eventually restricted by resources. Resource distribution and abundance will define the environment's carrying capacity. Whenever a greater resource share results in higher fitness, people must aim at securing resources for personal use, often barring others through territory defense (Sepulcre & Kokko, 2005). A complex link is present between population regulation and territoriality. At low population densities, every individual in the population is capable of establishing a personal territory in a high-quality environment, with reproduction being high and territories being large. With increasing population density, costs incurred in territory defense escalate, causing the size of territory to contract. Reproduction decreases, and people settle in inadequate environments that had lower initial reproductive success. This switch to habitats of lower quality should take place when reproduction success in low and high quality environments becomes equal; individuals may, however, be barred from high-quality environments before reproduction success has reduced to that degree (Both & Visser,...


In this research, the rats behaved in a normal manner by all criteria when sufficient living space existed; as population density rose, their social environment declined. They fought; infant mortality increased; they became more greatly territorial; and reproductive capacity lessened. Some rats even became cannibalistic. Though these findings may not essentially translate to the behavior of human beings under similar situations, population density undoubtedly has practical effects on populations.

Population density influences individuals, and contributes to crowding's psychological effects - where individuals feel limited and confined with lesser accessibility of necessities. Crowding is associated with social withdrawal, more criminal acts, improper social interaction and aggression (Stokols, 1972). In order to reduce the symptoms associated with crowding, preserving personal space and privacy, and honoring territoriality as a basic social human need is essential. As space shrinks, personal space and privacy demand more acknowledgment to avoid psychological effects. With limited personal space and privacy, individuals are likely to feel more competition, less control, and possess a greater tendency to respond negatively to trivial displeasures (Straub, 2007).

How space is perceived is a telling population density factor. This is because if one perceives plentiful space, the effects of crowding diminish. Thus, modifying how one perceives space proves to be as effective as actually making more space available. Population density's crowding effects aren't inevitable (Straub, 2007), and perhaps constructing space in a way that makes it seems bigger than in reality, can influence psychological crowding. Mitigating one's view of crowding, in any case, is consequential as space gradually turns into a scarce resource, and a perception of sufficient space has wide-ranging impacts on subjective health and well-being (Straub, 2007). When ample space is perceived by individuals, they testify to feeling a better feeling of control upon their environment; thus, they are less susceptible to stress and anxiety (Psychological Musings, 2011).

Effect of nature (e.g., zoos, parks, gardens) on individuals living in urban environments

Substantial indications exist to show that natural environment makes a difference to individuals. However, the natural backgrounds mentioned here aren't beaches and distant mountains, primeval forests and canyons. Rather, this section concentrates on nature that can be found outside one's doorstep. Natural environment in urban areas can, conceptually as well as physically, deliver a background for restoration. This paper's aim is to delve into some properties of the natural environment which contribute to the above mentioned restoration purpose. This assessment is then related to examining the types of involvements needed to feel these properties.

Natural settings are often publicized for their ability to infuse a feeling of serenity and peace. They are usually not portrayed as rushed or hectic. Tranquility is somehow more readily attained in natural contexts. Nevertheless, these backgrounds need not be deficient in awesomeness, sensory richness, excitement or vibrancy. In the midst of nature, combining the serene and the exciting seems possible. The contribution of natural environment isn't uniform or simple. Experience is closely linked with functioning; also, experiences differ widely in cultures, families and communities. Whether one seeks the unknown, or fears it, is greatly affected by his/her prior knowledge. Moreover, nature plays diverse roles for old and young. The quest for adventure characterizes youth more precisely; a desire for tranquility might require the buildup of frazzle. Taking into account such intricacies, it might be inappropriate to recommend a theoretical assessment of the function of natural urban environment (Kaplan, 1984).

The fundamental center on which life depends entirely is the ecosystem. Air quality, water quality, individual well-being, and economic vitality depend as much upon nature's resources as on communication, public safety structure and transportation. Thus, parks, which protect ecosystems and offer access to a natural environment, are a vital component of our communities' and cities' infrastructures. The threat posed by climate variations has intensified awareness of ecosystem facilities offered by green spaces and parks. Yet, despite an increase in conservation endeavors in recent years, a dearth of acceptance and acknowledgement by planners, developers and decision-makers of the necessity for a diverse and healthy natural environment within modern cities is still witnessed. Apart from their role in public welfare and health through…

Sources Used in Documents:


Altman, I. Privacy as an interpersonal boundary process. In M. von Cranoch, K. Foppa, W. Lepenies, & D. Ploog (Eds.), Humunefhology. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1979. Pp. 95- 132.

Augustin, S. (2009). Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell

Both, C., & Visser, M. (2003). Density Dependence, Territoriality, and Divisibility of Resources: From Optimality Models to Population Processes. The American Naturalist.

Gavison, R. (1980). Privacy and the Limits of Law. The Yale Law Journal Company, 421-471.

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