Due Date: Thursday, November 14
is designed to give you first-hand experience in studying
the phenomenon of personal space. It is also a chance
to put some Environmental Psychology theories to the
test. And give you a better sense of the nature of personal
space, how it functions, and what people to do protect
project, you should select at least five people and
examine their personal space needs.
There are several ways in which you can conduct this
field experiment. Pick from the following options: (1)
vary the interpersonal distance between you and your
subjects (both too near and too far); or (2) invade
others’ personal space. If you are shy, you may
wish to try (3) recruit a friend who will act as your
“confederate” (scientific term for someone
who is in on the real purpose of the study) and who
will invade other’s personal space for you while
you observe and record the reactions they get.
You may wish
to vary your sample by sex, age, and other demographic
characteristics to determine if there are any differences
according to categories. You may also include in your
sample someone you know well as well as strangers to
have conducted your experiment, write up your results.
The paper should be typed, double-spaced, and be at
least 5 pages long. This does not include any worksheets
or references. Your paper should have the following
Begin your paper with a brief overview of the concept
of personal space, what it is and how it works according
Then, explain how you conducted your experiment on personal
space. Did you vary your interpersonal distance with
other people yourself or did you or a confederate invade
people’s personal space? Explain step by step
what you did to conduct your study. Who comprised your
sample? Where did you conduct the experiment? How exactly
did you proceed?
What findings did you get from your experiment? Document
people’s reactions. If you used the Personal Space
Worksheet, explain the findings that you recorded on
it. Do you notice any consistencies in your findings?
tell when an interpersonal distance was not comfortable
for a person? If so, what did they do? In the case of
invasions, what strategies did people employ to protect
their personal space?
What, if anything, can you conclude about personal space
based on the results of your experiment? Describe your
results in light of Edward Hall’s zones of interpersonal
distance. Does your experiment support the notion of
personal space zones? Were people’s reactions
unusual or what you expected in light of the existing
research on personal space?