Personal Space Psychological Experiment

The sample essay on Personal Space Essay deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches, and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.

A within-particpant experimental design was used to explore how uncomfortable an individual feels when approached by one or two people, this is measured when the individual says ‘stop’. The independent variable (IV) is whether theres one person walking towards the particpant orr two people walking towards themselves, wich were randomly assigned.

The order of the two conditions was counterbalances so that half of the particpants start with one condition and vice versa, counterbalancing the order in which they start with.

A table with odd and even numbers was used to randomly select the particpant with the condiitn. The even numbers start with condiiton one where one person walks towards the individual, and the odd numbers start with condiiton two where two people walk towards the participant. The dependent variable (DV) is when the experimenter is told to stop when approaching the participant.

Participants This experiment consisted of 60 particiapnts which were recruited from Nottingham, UK. An opportunity sample was used for the experiment. The sample comprimised of an equal ratio of males and females.

The participants were local university students. There was no exclusion criteria set for this experiment. The mean age of the sample was 19, with 30 males and 30 females. Materials This experiment consisted of a measuring tape which was used to measure the distance between the particiapnt and the experimenter.

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A set of stabndardised instructions along with the consent form were also used. A pen and paper to recored the results and also the experimenters involved. Procedure Particpants were asked whether or not they wanted to particpate in the experiment.

Example Of Personal Space

The researcher then read aloud the instructions (see Appendix1), to which the participants filled out a consent form (see Appendix 2). Participants were then told that the experimenter will be approaching them and will be told to say ‘stop’ when they feel uncomfortable with the proximity. The experimenter stands 6 meters from the particiapnt, in an open space. They approach at a slow pace, making no facial expression and no eye contact. The participants will then have to say ‘stop’ when they feel uncomfortable, the space between them is measured and recorded in a table.

Some controls had to be kept consistent, for example the standardised instructions and the ethical guidelines e. g, the right to withdraw and informed consent. In both conditions the experimenter stays 6 meters away from the participant. Results The table below gives a summary of the distance between the experiment and the participant. Table 1:A table to show the difference in standard deviation, Mean and Range of the distance between the experimenter and the participant. Condition Standard Deviation Mean Range T-test 1)One Researcher 12. 95 77. 47 50 1. 51 2)Two Researchers 17.

98 116. 6 81 Table 1 shows that when two researchers approach an individual they would say stop sooner because they feel uncomfortable in the presence of more than one person. The standard deviation and the mean were higher in condition two, where there were two experimenters than in condition one, where participants were only approached by only one experimenters. The T-test was 1. 51, this shows there was an insignificant effect of crowding on personal space (t obt=1. 51, df=58, P<. 05) even though the participants said ‘stop’ sooner when there were two experimenters (Mean=77.

47, Standard Deviation=17. 98) than with only one participant (Mean=77. 47, Stand Deviation=12. 95). Discussion The results suggest that when two people are walking to an individual they will say ‘stop’ sooner, and when one person is walking towards a person they will say ‘stop’ later. The results support the background literature. This experiment supported the hypothesis, it also provided valuable data. The purpose of this experiment was to see the effects of crowding on persoanl spce and how uncomfortaable participants felt on the number of people approaching them.

The hypothesis was that paprticipants would say ‘stop’ sooner if two experimenters were walking towards them then just one. There have been numerous studies to support the fact that crowding does affect a persons personal space. A study done by Cochran and Urbanczyk (1982), conducted an experiment on 2 conditions using a stop-distance technique. The results showed that in high-ceiling condiitons, the participants needed less personal pace than in low-ceiling conditions. Another experiment done by Gary. T. Long (1984) showed that participnts in higher tension situations preferred a greater distance from others.

There were limitations involved with this study, the number pf participants were too few, therefore having more participants may have produced a greater variability amongst the results. Another limitation is regarding the location, it could have been more crowded with more noise, with some participants and not others. Intimidation could have been another factor effeting the experimen by the presence of the researchers and the distance varies according to many factors, one of them being the relationship of the people involved. The limitations mentioned above could be one of the many reasons why the T-test was insignificant.

There are examples of eevryday life in relation to crowding on personal space and how people feel uncomfortable when approached by a group of individuals. For example, when a gang of youths approach one individual they world feel scared and uncomfortable, than if one person approaches a individual and asks for the time; they would feel at ease. However there are many other factors that affect a persons personal space it depends on the age of the individual, the sex, race, amount of indiviuals walking up to a person, and the appearance.

However different people have different inmterpretations of what uncomfortable is for them, therefore cannot be certain on when they feel uncomfortable and say ‘stop’, therefore cannot measure it properly. These differences of interpretations can lead to a misunderstanding amongst the researchers from different cultures, the environment also affects one’s perception on what uncomfortable is for them. Some people might feel uncomfortable with one experimenter walking up to them than two.

To conclude from this, different things could be changed in doing this experiment again, a different location could be used. If this experiemnt were to be repeated, there are a few things that should be changed. For example, choosing a different location; this could have ben approached by prior research to obtain knowledge of whn places are most/least populated. The conclusion of this experiment was consistent with past reasearch. Although this experiment ended with a insignificant T-test, the information gathered from the results can help future research on the effects of crowding on personal space.

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Personal Space Psychological Experiment. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Personal Space Psychological Experiment
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