Meanings of privacy in everyday speech, in behavioral and social science, and in American law are compared. A variety of independent meanings emerge within each domain, and these distinctions are repeated across domains. A common‐core definition is proposed that appears to be consistent with these meanings. One behavioral theory that attempts to bring conceptual order to the various meanings of privacy is reviewed, and the review is extended to a general commentary on the current status of behavioral theories of privacy. Future tasks and directions for establishing a more complete understanding of privacy are indicated, including the explication of theoretical systems and the creation of linkages across disciplines and concepts.
Journal of Social Issues – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1977
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