The Violation Of Personal Space And The

Avoidance Behaviour Essay, Research Paper CONTENTS ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION METHOD: subjects, apparatus and material, procedure RESULTS DISCUSSION

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 research was to observe whether lone individuals would behave in a avoidance way quicker if their personal space was violated by one person than when it was violated by a number of people.

The hypotheses are:

H1-it is predicted that individual will be likely to avoid their personal space being violated by three people than by one.

Ho-there will be no difference in the avoidance behaviour of individual whether their personal space is violated by one person or by a number of people.

METHOD

The research was a participant observation design. The variables are:

1) The number of violators, which has two levels:

a) 1 person

b) 3 people

2) The behaviour of the participants, which has two levels:

a) Avoidance

b) Non-avoidance

The hypotheses are:

Hi-it is predicted that individual will be likely to avoid their personal space being violated by three people, than by one.

Ho-there will be no difference in the avoidance behaviour of individual whether their personal space is violated by one person or by a number of people.

SUBJECTS

Four students were observed in the research. They were all North London University students. They were observed in the M-floor of Learning canter using opportunity sampling. They were not aware that they were taking part in the research.

APPARATUS AND MATERIALS

The observation was conducted by a group of observers. The research took place in the M-floor of Learning centre. The hall research took three hours to be completed, from 9.00a.m to 12.00a.m. All the participants were sitting in tables and they were studying. The tables were for two, four and six people. They were rectangular tables that were separated by cubicles. They were not very wide. The research was conducted in tables for four people and to each side of the table were two chairs .One observer had a stop-watch to keep the time and another one had a note book to note the participants behaviour.

PROCEDURE

The whole participants were 128 but each group had to observe 4 people. The research was conducted in the M-floor of Learning Centre of North London University. The observers were five psychology students of UNL. The participants were four students of UNL and they were not aware that a research was taken place on their behaviour. The research took place at morning time at 9.00a.m to 12p.m.

One of the observers had to hold the time that was needed to characterize the behaviour of the participants as avoidance or non-avoidance. One other had to keep notes of the reaction that each participant had when his/her personal space was invaded. From the other three observers one was taking part in all four trials. The other two were in the group trial. The observers were dressed informal as usual students.

The time was kept from the point that the observer sat in the chair. If the participant left before ten minute, his behaviour was characterised as avoidance. If during these ten minutes, the participant had not left or had left and return before ten minutes his behaviour was characterised as non-avoidance. In the first participant, the observer went and sat in the opposite side of the table diagonally. One observer was keeping time and one was keeping notes. The participant start looking the invader as it was annoyed from its presence. The participant stopped keeping notes and she was kinetic. After two minutes had passed, she started putting here books in a column and after eight minutes, she left. Participant s personal space was invaded and it was shown with avoidance. In the next trial three observers sat in another table were another participant was studying. The participant showed discomfort and after four minutes, left. It was again avoidance. After that one observer sat in a table, that one participant was studying. The observer sat diagonal in the opposite side of the table. The participant looked the observer in a strange way and continued to study without showing any sigh of being disturbed. Non-avoidance had occurred. In the fourth and last trial three observers sat in a table were another participant was studying. The participant left at the third minute, went to take a book, and returned in the eight minute. His behaviour was non-avoidance.

RESULTS

The level of data is nominal. As it can be noticed from the results of the chi-square test, the chi-square is 5.375 with p-value=0.020