Master's Theses

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Date of Award

Spring 1971

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Phyllis G. Tiffany

Abstract

The effect of approach length on personal space (PS) was studied and then compared with the influence of environmental setting on PS. PS is defined as an area with invisible boundaries immediately surrounding the individual. The dimensions of this area vary from person to person. Twenty one male and 24 female volunteers were each instructed to control the placement of two stimulus persons (a substitute and a classmate) who were about to engage in a discussion. Subjects (Ss) approached from four points which were 81, 162, 243, 324 inches from a goal; and under two approach modes (substitute approached classmate and vice versa). Ss directed stimulus persons, one at a time, to begin an approach then stop at a distance appropriate for comfortable conversation. Approach lengths were significantly different and directly related to interaction distance. Sex differences were not found, even though mean PS for males was greater than for females. Among studies reviewed, only Trego (1969) had significantly greater PS for females. There was no modal effect. In light of the small number of PS studies reported in the literature, procedures and suggestions for the development of further research were proposed.

Rights

Copyright 1971 David T. London

Comments

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