Effects of Population Density and Noise on Individuals

The world and country’s population is growing and so is its impact on people. This increase in population density has led to an increase in pollution, including noise pollution, and a need to redefine related terms such as privacy, personal space, and territory.Most people overlook the effects that noise, short-term or prolonged, might have on them. However, the effects of noise pollution can range from amodestirritation to a severe illness (Straub, 2006). This paper assessesprivacy, territory, and personal space concepts, the consequences of noise pollution, factors that influence a region’s population density, and finally establish strategies that can be used to reduce noise pollution.

Understanding Territoriality, Privacy, and Personal Space Privacy


Territory suggests governing the space around a person, which denotes the distance between them and others. Human territorial behavior involves preventive and reactive actions that are aimed at satisfying individual’s motivational states (Brown, 2010). Although Human territorial behavioris not usually survival based like it is in other animals’, human beings portray actions and behaviors, which suggest that a particular space is in use thus helping maintain space.

Human territory can be categorized into three domains including primary, secondary and public territories (Maller et al., 2006).Primary territories are private permanent spaces such as a person’s home, secondary territories are borrowed private places such as an individual’s workstation, andpublic territories are places where one maintains their personal privacy but accepts infringements more easily such as in shopping malls (Maller et al., 2006).


Territorial behaviors are mainly intended to help maintain privacy. Territorial boundaries help in determining the level of privacy expected with in primary territory, a person could expect more privacy than they would in secondary or public territories. According to Altman (1981) privacy is the selective resistor of access to a person or a group. Privacy encompasses control over both information relating to an individual and their interactions with others (Brown, 2010).  Different individuals have varying privacy needs depending on factors such as situations and cultures. New technologies available today raise concerns about the control one has over information relating to others, which has resulted to the need to demarcate the difference between privacy and public information.

Personal Space

Just like territoriality, personal space is a mechanismthat individuals employ in their effort to maintain privacy.Personal space is described as the physical distance that individuals choose to keep and maintain in interpersonal relationships (Altman, 1981). According toBurgoon, personal space is the area surrounding a person that he/she regards as an extension of himself/ herself and thus may not intruded without the protagonist’s consent (Burgoon, 1978). Personal space needs are variable from one individual to the other as they are greatly influenced by personalities, culture, and situations.

Territoriality, Privacy, and Personal Space as Population Density Increases

John Calhoun conducted an experiment to test the impact of increasing population density among rats. He observed that the rats’ social environment deteriorated with increase in population. The rats were normal and peaceful when they had ample space but they fought and became more territorial when they were clouded (Straub, 2006). Additionally, there was a decline in productivity and infant mortality rate increased. Although human beings may not portray these behaviors once subjected to similar conditions, it does demonstrate that population density affects inhabitants.

Population density affects individuals psychologically where it makes them feel confined and makes them feel as if they have limited access to provisions. Crowding is linked to anti social behavior including withdrawal, aggression, and criminal activities among others (Burgoon, 1978). Promoting territoriality, privacy, and personal space helps restore the feeling of control, reduce competition and ultimately reduce these negative behavior caused by crowding. It can thus be concluded that increase in population density results to crowding, which in turn increases the need for greater acknowledgement of territoriality, privacy and personal space (Straub, 2006).

The Effect of Nature on Individuals Living in Urban Environments 

Natural settings found in urban areas, including parks and zoos, fosters an environment that encourages individuals to interact with nature. Such interactions provide interaction while nurturing the environment’s identity that is usually constrained in urban living settings. Natural environments are usually calm, allowing individuals to unwind, Maller even claimed that such environments reduce occurrence of certain diseases thus improving people’s health (Maller et al., 2006). He also argued that natural settings within urban centers reduced crime, a view that was seconded by Clayton and Myers (2008), who observed that crime rates are lower among individuals living near a natural setting.

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