8 Aug 2022


The Relationship Between Population Density and Noise

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Academic level: College

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Noise and Population density have various effects on individuals. According to Straub (2007), whenever the right to a personal space, privacy, and territory is violated by any external agent such as noise, the impact may vary from mere annoyance to extensive, intrusive anxiety-causing illnesses. A spike in the population density and an infringement upon territory, privacy, and personal demands the admission to avert the psychological impacts associated with overpopulation, and to put off fretfulness, frustration, and aggression. To comprehend how population density affects individuals, the concepts of territoriality, personal space, privacy, and noise should be examined. 

Privacy, Territoriality and Personal Space 

People will experience closeness or proximity with other persons at one time or another. The right term to use when explicating the personal-environmental relations is proxemics. Proxemics covers the concepts privacy, territoriality, and personal space. 

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Territorial behaviors and practices are intended to maintain an accurate level of privacy. The variations in territorial boundaries decide the privacy element of each; for example when a person expects the least or the most amount of privacy. Privacy includes the control over one’s personal information alongside control over the personal relations. In essence, “privacy is a fundamental human need, so place design must permit people to regulate access to themselves in the ways they have been taught by their national culture” (Augustin, Coleman & Frankel, 2015). In a modern setting, emerging technologies raise concerns about access to personal information, an aspect that has demanded the balancing of public information versus privacy. Privacy values and needs differ between people and also between cultures and situations (Cyaton & Myers, 2008). 


Territoriality is defined as the behaviors which a person exhibits on his or her physical setting. Territorial behavior refers to the reflection of one’s desire to have, occupy and defend his or her territory against external invasion. Territory, on the other hand, is the area which a person controls over a continual period or for some time and even might share with other people. According to Augustin, Coleman, and Frankel, (2015), territory assists a person to maintain the sense of identity and help him, or her maintain a degree of privacy and personal space. 

Personal Space 

Personal space is defined as a multi-dimensional zone or bubble which constitutes an individual’s environs and moves around with him or her (Augustin, Coleman & Frankel, 2015). This zone or bubble is out of bounds for other people, unless they are granted access. A person determines the magnitude of one’s personal space; the gender and body type of the individual is a determinant. About body type, tall individuals normally need more personal space as opposed to their short counterparts, and children normally need a smaller personal space as opposed to adults. The other determinant is culture; some cultures have a larger personal space (Augustin, Coleman & Frankel, 2015). Normally, people need a small personal space when near others especially family members and friends. On the contrary, people might need more personal space when in the company of strangers or people they detest. In essence, the preferred personal space’s size varies from one person to another and across cultures. 

Increase in Population Density 

According to Straub (2011), population density has practical effects on human population. It result in the psychosomatic impacts of crowding where individuals feel restricted and have minimum access to essentials. Crowding brings about social withdrawal, aggression, augmented delinquency and improper social relations. To minimize these symptoms, it is imperative to uphold privacy, honor territoriality and maintaining a personal space as a primary social requirement. While space in general diminishes, personal space and privacy demand an amplified consent to avert psychosomatic effects. With the absence of a personal space and privacy, individuals are inclined to feel more competition, less control and developed increased inclination to react adversely to slight disappointments (Straub, 2011). 

Discernment or perception is an informative element of population density. This implies that if an ample space is supposed, the effects of crowding reduce. As a result, altering the supposition of space is as significant as really providing additional space. The effects of crowding attributed to population density cannot be predicted, and perchance psychological crowding can be affected by designing space to appear bigger that it is (Straub, 2011). In any event, extenuating the acuity of crowding has a great outcome as the resource of space diminishes and perceiving sufficient space has extensive effects on personal health and welfare (Straub, 2011). In perceiving an ample space, people tend to feel a robust sense of power over own environment and develop reduced tendency of developing stress and anxiety (Straub, 2011). 

Nature’s Effects on Individuals within Urban Setting 

Natural environments like parks and zoos may advance a social context and support for human-nature interaction. This setting does not only facilitate interaction, though it also fosters an environmental distinctiveness which is often repressed in the urban life conditions. The natural contexts within urban environs support the intuition that individuals need to and should interact with nature. The effect of the natural environs on the livelihoods of individuals is immense (Maller et al., 2005). 

Urban settings have an important role to play in supporting physical activity; in fact, it is reported that people dwelling within urban environments report few health issues as opposed to those in the rural setting (DeVries, Verheij, Groenewegen & Spreeuwenberg, 2003). According to Clayton and Myers (2008) the mortality rates of people who live near a green space is low. Moreover, green space condensed noise-related stress in urban environments. Clayton and Myers (2008) argue further that greener localities tend to promote reduced violent and aggressive behavior, close interpersonal relations, positive social relations and improved performance. 

The Effects of Noise 

The negative effects of living in a severely noisy neighborhood have examined extensively by health psychologists. According to Straub (2011), the detrimental effects of noise increase the cortisol and blood pressure levels, indicating increased stress levels. Constant noise exposure can augment the threat of developing cardiovascular diseases and reduce one’s learning power. Particularly, children are susceptible to the detrimental influence of constant noise while developing maladaptive competencies which incite them to inhibit particular stimuli. The children may fail to develop the capacity to comprehend which stimuli to inhibit and which is important for their learning experiences, hence affecting their development (Straub, 2011). In fact, children who are exposed to high levels of noise, tend to have poor verbal skills when they block noise, on most occasions, they also inhibit the verbal elements. 

Straub (2011) argue that the chronic exposure to loud noise may interrupt with the functioning of short memory and minimize one’s capacity to accomplish simple assignments. People differ in their assessment of noise; in fact, the troubling the noise is to an individual, the immense the effect of the noise would be on the individual. Although stress may not be directly attributed to noise, the effects of noise on sleep, anxiety and one’s attitude have a direct influence on the health of the subject (Straub, 2011). In essence, the less the control that individuals have over noise, the more severe the effects of the noise are; the more the levels of stress. 

Noise Minimization strategies 

Noise reduction is not a simple task as it may sound. In fact, there is no way of eliminating noise in totality. However, individuals can learn to cope with the noise around them. One strategy of reducing the noise that one is exposed to is planning. An individual can have noise deterrents such as ear plugs, in case they aware of an imminent exposure to noise. One can also be practice noise-conscious habits such as listening to low-volume music. To reduce external noise interference, people may also erect noise-proof walls and windows. Materials that absorb sound may be placed between noisy equipment and the human setting so as to protect them from unnecessary noise. Having carpeted floors as opposed to hardwood floors also help in reducing noise. Lastly, auditory masking may also be employed to block out unwanted sound while maintaining the needed sounds. It might not be eliminating the noise totally; however, it would mask it, making it less irritant. 


Individuals are affected by multiple distinct aspects of the environment like noise, space, and population. The perceptions of privacy, personal space and territory are openly influenced by population density. Interpersonal interaction is determined by the extent of crowding which individuals are exposed. The noise levels that people are subjected to also influences the way they relate, the manner in which they understand space and manage crowding. By developing an intense understanding of the ideas presented in this paper, people can plan to handle and mitigate the detrimental effects that things have on their lives. 


Augustin, S., Coleman, C., & Frankel, N. (2015). Place advantage: Applied psychology for interior architecture . Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. 

Clayton, S. & Myers, G. (2009). Conservation psychology . Hoboken, NJ: Wiley- Blackwell. 

DeVries, S. D., Verheij, R. A., Groenewegen, P. P., & Spreeuwenberg, P. (2003). Natural environments-healthy environments? An exploratory analysis of the relationship between greenspace and health. Environment and Planning A, 35 (10), 1717-1731. 

Maller, C., Townsend, M., Pryor, A., Brown, P. & St. Leger, L. (2005). Healthy nature healthy people: 'contact with nature' as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations. Health Promotion International, 21 (1), 45-54. 

Straub, R. O. (2011). Health psychology: A biopsychosocial approach . New York: Worth. 

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