Environmental Psychology Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

psychology and human behavior. Specifically it will discuss the effects of population density on individuals, including noise and territoriality. Population density has a dramatic affect on the population, and it can even lead to major health concerns. Studies show that residents of high-noise areas suffer a variety of ailments, from loss of attention span to hearing loss and stress. The denser the population, the more noise, stress, and lack of personal space all come together to make living conditions far less bearable than any other living situation.

Noise is one of the biggest problems facing the residents of high-density population centers. Noise can affect just about every aspect of life, and it can make sleeping, learning, conversing, and every aspect of life nearly unbearable. Noise is a part of life, but high noise levels are often most prevalent in inner cities and areas of high population density, meaning that more people are the victims of noise and its effects in high population areas. A group of authors write, "The urban population is increasing at twice the rate of the nonurbanpopulation in the United States, and the number of noise sources is increasing at a greater rate than the rate of increase of population" (Harris, et al., 2004, p. 2). .It is the number one reason many people want to move from their current resident. Ambient noise is common in just about everyone's life, but high noise levels, from 55 decibels on up, can be detrimental and even dangerous to residents, and these noise levels are often a common element of city life.

Noise can come from a variety of sources, from heavy street traffic, airports, nearby industrial areas, loud neighbors, and nearby businesses that generate high noise levels. Noise is not just a nuisance, it can be damaging to health, too. The editors of a Web site note, "Levels of community noise above 55 decibels (dB) are associated with a large number of adverse health conditions. According to the World Health Organization, reductions of noise by 6-14 dBA ('A' = weighted) result in subjective and objective improvements in sleep" (Editors, 2009). Sleep deprivation is only one problem associated with noise. If it continues for too long, it can lead to marked hearing loss. It can lead to poor learning in students who attend schools with noise issues, and it can affect the students' attention spans, concentration, and even affect their reading abilities. It can lead to other health issues, as well. The editors continue, "There is a clear dose-response relationship between environmental noise from traffic and high blood pressure" (Editors, 2009). It can lead to more heart attacks, more stress, poor communication, and higher stress hormone levels in individuals who live and worth with constant noisy conditions (Editors, 2009).

Besides health concerns, noise is simply annoying. It drowns out conversations, television, and music, and if it never seems to stop, it can be a constant source of irritation and stress. A group of authors notes other effects. They write, "These effects include: interference with speech communication, sleep disturbance, physiological effects, interference with the learning process in schools, interference with leisure time and recreational activities, and reduction of residential property values" (Harris, et al., 2004, p. 2). .If you live and work in a noisy environment, it can affect every aspect of your life, and it can lead to arguments, feuds, and neighbors battling neighbors. Noise is higher in areas with a high population density, because there are simply more people to make more noise, and they are often thrown together in noisy environments, such as busy city streets, freeways nearby, or nearby airports. The author group continues, "There is no doubt that noise levels are directly related to population density, and since population densities are increasing in many areas of the country, the number of people adversely impacted by noise is increasing" (Harris, et. al., 2004, p. 5). Noise is far more subdued in suburban and rural environments because there are not as many people to make noise, and they are often far away from common noise sources, like airports and freeways.

Noise is annoying, it is harmful, and it is only growing. Another set of authors write, "The term…

Sources Used in Document:


Editors. (2009). The San Francisco noise model. Retrieved 23 Dec. 2009 from the San Francisco Department of Public Heath Web site: http://www.sfphes.org/HIA_Tools_Noise.htm.

Goines, L. And Hagler, L. (2007). Noise pollution: A modern plague. Southern Medical Journal, Volume 100: p. 287-294.

Harris, A.S., Fleming, G.G., Lang, W.W. And Schomer, P.D. (2004). Reducing the impact of environmental noise on quality of life requires an effective national noise policy. Retrieved 23 Dec. 2009 from the Volpe.dot.gov Web site: http://www.volpe.dot.gov/acoustics/docs/2000/dts-34-03_2.pdf.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Environmental Psychology" (2009, December 23) Retrieved January 17, 2019, from

"Environmental Psychology" 23 December 2009. Web.17 January. 2019. <

"Environmental Psychology", 23 December 2009, Accessed.17 January. 2019,