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Running head PERSONAL SPACE Personal Space A Gender Difference Study Jon Sherman Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Abstract This study explores the differences in reactions in genders when personal space is breached Personal space is an invisible unconscious personal comfort zone that varies in size depending on the size and environmental context Depending on the situation feelings such as aggression intimacy or general discomforts are common when an individuals personal space is compromised The study attempted to determine whether or not females reacted friendlier than males when personal space was threatened Out of 47 subjects 19 were female and 28 were male Subjects were observed for 30 seconds and assessed either friendly or not friendly based on certain criteria after the 30 seconds had elapsed The results provided a significant difference in reactions when personal space was compromised Females tended to display a friendlier behavior than males In understanding these results males and females should recognize the differences in personal space in order to avoid misinterpreting male and female body language in close mixed gender environments Personal Space A Gender Difference Study What is the range of a persons interpersonal comfort zone How do people react when their interpersonal comfort zone has been breached Psychologists commonly pursue answers to these questions when studying the idea of personal space This study searches for gender differences in the reactions caused by the violation of personal space Personal space is an individuals invisible comfort zone regarding the proximity of other individuals or objects The breaching of individuals personal space invokes particular emotions such as crowding intimacy discomfort or aggression Aielllo JR Thompson D I 1980 Studying and understanding issues pertaining to the notion of personal space can be greatly beneficial in many different situations For example Sinha and N Mukherjee 1996 provided evidence showing that a friendly and cooperative atmosphere promoted significantly less feelings of
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