Is Three A Crowd?

Topic: LifePeace
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Last updated: September 11, 2020

This is a study of the effects that crowding has on personal space. Personal space refers to “an area around a persons body they need to keep free of other people in order to remain comfortable”. The problem being studied is that when two people are walking towards a person they feel more intimidated than when one person walks up to you and therefore will say stop sooner than the other condition. This experiment aimed to determine which condition; whether one person or two people are walking up to the participant, this will cause the participant to feel more uncomfortable.

A within-participant experimental design was used for60 university students, using an opportunity sample. The participants will be asked to say stop when the researcher/researchers are approaching them, therefore will measure how uncomfortable the participant feels. The researcher wil be situated 6 meters away from the participant, making no facial expression and no eye contact. The space between the experimenter and the participant is measured.The results suggest that the participants in condition two; in which two researchers approach the participant will say stop sooner than in condition one; in which one researcher approaches the participant, they will say stop later. This shows that participants feel uncomfortable when in a more crowded place. There findings support previous literature by Hall (1966) said that we have different phases of personal space and that numerous studies have been done on areas such as environment.

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However there is a gap when it comes to crowding.Another study to support he results is by Cochran and Urbanczyk (1982) their results suggest that people need less space to feel uncomfortable in outdoors than they did indoors, so we are therefore going to do the experiment outside. Yildrim and Akalin-Baskaya (2007) found that men are more tolerant of moderate an high density crowded conditions. However Storms and Thomas (1977) found that the behaviour depends on the expression, thy found that if the person sitting closer was friendly, they did not mind as much and therefore did not feel uncomfortable. Introductionthe purpose of this study is to investigate the subject of crowding and how uncomfortable an individual feels when they re approached by one/two experimenters. There have been many studies supporting that an individual feels more uncomfortable when two people are walking towards them as opposed to one. One piece of literature done by Kaya and Erkip (1999) they did many studies on peronal space, which were conducted in crrowded locations such as airports, schools, libaries, offices and resturants etc, They found from the results that in high-density conditions with a decrease in personal space makes an individual feel uncomfortable .This could often lead to a negative effect and make an individual feel aggressive.

Individuals respond to this by moving away, turning away, avoiding eye contact or increasing the distance between them. Hayduk (1978) said that “Personal space may be defined as the area, individuals maintain around themselves into which others cannot intrude without arousing discomfort. ” Cochran et al (1984) carried out an experiemnt on 96 undergraduates, which was about the personal space reqirements. They were measured in two conditions one in an indoor room and one in an outdoor condition.Two male and two female participants were tested using a stop-distance technique in both condiitons. The results did show a significant difference in both conitions. In open spaces, interpersonal closeness from participants produced less discomfort. Another sudy was carried out by Cochran and Urbanczyk (1982).

They also measured personal space requirments under two conditions, using a stop-distance technique. In this experiment the participants were told to stand at a certain marked place and were asked to say ‘stop’ when the experimenter got to close and when they felt uncomfortable.The experimenter then walked slowly towards the participant from another marked place and again the participant would say ‘stop’ when they felt uncomfortable. The distance from the experimenters feet to where the participant was standng was measured. The results showed that in high-ceiling condiitons, participants needed less personal space than in low-ceiling conditions. These results support Hall’s Spheroid Model.

Gary. T. Long (1984) conducted a study which was designed to investigate the relationship between tension and the distance from another individual.Participants;40 male and 40 female were tested on eight natural settings in two conditions; high or low tension and their distance was measured. The results showed that participants in higher tension situations preferred greater distances away from others. Leslie A.

Hayduk (1983) put together a review on issues surrounding personal space, for instance culture, sex, age etc. In this review Hayduk shows the amount of studies that wiegh against the meaurement menthods. On the other hand real-life measures are rarely mentioned. Hayduk proposes numerous projects on the area of personal space.However there are many definitions of personal space and what we mean by uncomfortable.

Each of us has our own boundary of personal space, and each of us has our own levels of uncomfortable. The purpose of this study is to observe how personal space varies according to how many people are walking up to them. The distance varies according to many factors including the relationship of the people involved, ethnic groups, cultures, environment, gender, age, situation etc. One reason why people might feel uncomfortable could be when people stand to close to them, they may have an instinct of aggression.Personal space suggest the need of and individuals privacy and the need for freedom from other people.

People feel uncomfortable when they are approached t a distance they feel is too close especially under high-density places, where there is an increase in the number of individuals. The experimental hypothesis is one tailed which is that participants wil say stop later if only one persona is invading because crowding causes distress. The null hypothesis is that there will be no difference whether one or two researchers are invading an individuals personal space.

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