The Violation Of Personal Space And The

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The Violation Of Personal Space And The Avoidance Behaviour Essay, Research Paper CONTENTS ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION METHOD: subjects, apparatus and material, procedure RESULTS DISCUSSION ABSTRACT An observational research was conducted to see if the personal space of an individual would guide him in avoidance quicker when it has been violated by one person or when it has been violated by three. Four people where observed each of then separately, by five violators, while they were studying in library. Two of them where observed when one violator sat to the same table that they were studying and the other two were observed when three violators sat on the table that they were studying. It was predicted that people would be likely to avoid the violation of their personal space when

it was caused by three violators than when it was caused by one violator. INTRODUCTION Individual tries to organise his environment in a way that his freedom of choice is maximised. One way that the individual is able to achieve the desired freedom of choice is by controlling what goes on in particular areas of space. One of these areas is the personal space which according to Goffman(1972) is the portable bubble of space sometimes seen as part of interpersonal distance . According to Sommer (1959) personal space is carried around by individual. Each individual has his own personal space and is invisible. In the 1960s the American anthropologists Edward T Hall said that personal space can be viewed as an extension of the human body and he defined four distinct stages, a) the

intimate distance, which contains bodily contact and which has to do with human personal relationship, b) the casual-personal distance which is the distance which is kept between closed friends or in a party, c) the social-consultative distance which should be kept in business and general formal contacts.(Proshansky, M,H et al, pg.198)This cultural rules act as guideline for individual behaviour. Sometimes an individual may like or dislike someone depending on the distance he keeps between them. In each zone individual has to follow different use of touch, smell, and hearing which are concerned as most important to some cultures that others. What is considered comfortable distance for conversation varies from culture to culture. Watson and Graves (1966) by observation concluded

that people in South America and Arabia is more direct face to face and touch one another more easily. They are thought to be high contact cultures while the Scotch Swedes are thought to be low-contact cultures. Fellipe and Sommer (1966) did a library study , which was an observational study on personal space. The participants were women who did not know that were being observed. The women were studying in the library and the experimenter tried to violate their personal space by sitting next to them. The possibility for women to leave was greater when the experimenter was sitting next to them than when sitting two chairs away. A way for the students to keep their personal space was by putting books next to them as a barrier. (Gross pg386) Argyle and Dean (1965) has pointed out

that all individuals have a tendency to want to stay alone and independent from others. This is balanced, non-verbally in each social situation in which individual find him self, so that an acceptable level of intimacy is tried to be found. In Sommer et all study the women felt discomfort because the situation became too intimate. (Gross pg. 387)According to Sommer women have smaller zones of personal space than men have. When the personal space of an individual is being violated can cause discomfort. As Sommer says: The violation of personal space increases tension levels enormously. As Jacobs pointed out social situation individuals require a comfort zone of 6 to 8 square feet per person, and any violation of that space will cause a reaction (Sommer pg.27) The aim of this