Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Need for Privacy

Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_540-1



An individual’s need to selectively control the access of others to the individual = self with the aim of achieving a desired level of physical or psychological privacy – in other words, a form of solitude, intimacy, anonymity, or reserve.


People want privacy under many circumstances. In fact, when people say “I want my privacy” or claim “Privacy please!” the message behind these demands can have several meanings. In one situation, it could simply mean that the person wants to be left alone. Under other circumstances, however, an individual may want to emphasize that another person is not allowed to know about a certain type of information, or the individual may want to prevent unwanted enquiries. From time to time, people seek physical or mental conditions under which they feel free from surveillance or interference by others, or...


Private Information Social Network Site Personal Space Physical Privacy Online Medium 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media PsychologyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland