Deprivation of privacy under conditions of quarantine restrictions
The aim of the study was to analyze the experience of privacy in quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the situation of quarantine restrictions, personal space has been changed: the private space has been «shrunk» (long stay of many people in spatially limited homes), and public space, on the contrary, has been «spread» (requirement to keep a distance of 1.5-2.5 m in all public places).
This could lead to the deprivation of the need for privacy in the first situation, and vice versa, the satisfaction of this need – in the second one.
Methodologically, the study is based on scientific approaches to the psychology of privacy (set out in the works of I. Altman, M. Horowitz, S. Nartova-Bochaver).
Control over one’s living space (experience of its ownership) contributes to the severity of the internal locus of control.
Neurotic personalities were the most sensitive to interpersonal distance disorders at home: labile and reactive people tend to build longer distances even in communication with loved ones. Women were much more likely than men to experience privacy violations at home during quarantine, which is consistent with data on the gender characteristics of feminine roles.
Subjective discomfort, invasion of privacy, and stress during quarantine stay at home were felt more by Ukrainians than by Americans, due to the much larger size of housing owned by American respondents.
It was found that American respondents set much shorter distances in communication with close people, and much longer – with strangers (compared to Ukrainians).
This can be explained by the sacralization of the family in American culture, as well as the regulation of communication in public places, associated with the inherent respect for the privacy of a stranger in English-speaking cultures.
The limitation of the study is the small sample of respondents.
The results of the study can be used in the development of 1) psychological recommendations for the introduction of spatial constraints (for example, during quarantine measures); 2) prevention of conflicts provoked by privacy violations.
The prospects of future studies are to diversify the ethnic composition of the samples for cross-cultural analysis of the privacy experience.