ERIC Number: ED083529
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-May
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Sex, Distance, and Conversation in the Invasion of Personal Space.
Quick, Alida D.; Crano, William D.
Empirical evidence indicates that intrusions into an individual's personal space may produce anxiety and defensive or avoidance behaviors which might be reduced when conversation occurs between interactants. This paper briefly presents two field experiments designed to investigate this possibility. The first study hypothesized that invasion of space would incur more rapid defensive reactions when the invader (experimenter) and subject were the same sex. Analyses disclosed that both distance and sex of invader had significant impact; an unexpected finding was that female experiments elicited more rapid defensive reactions than males. A second study incorporated distance, sex and presence or absence of a verbalized remark ("hello"). Analysis indicated that sex of the invader and verbalized communication influenced subject reactions in the direction of defense or avoidance. Females again brought about more threatened feelings on the part of subjects. It is posited that uninvited advances by female invaders are perceived as manifestations of aggression, and therefore more threatening to males; another possibility is that female experimenters, recognizing a role conflict in their portrayal, reflect anxiety which stimulates rapid defenses. To test these hypotheses, a third study has been designed to incorporate not only distance and sex but also anxiety levels of invaders. (Author/CJ)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association Meeting, 9 to 11 May 1973, Chicago, Illinois