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Listening to a conversation with aggressive content expands the interpersonal space

Vagnoni, E; Lewis, J; Tajadura-Jiménez, A; Cardini, F; (2018) Listening to a conversation with aggressive content expands the interpersonal space. PLoS ONE , 13 (3) 10.1371/journal.pone.0192753. Green open access

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Abstract

The distance individuals maintain between themselves and others can be defined as ‘interpersonal space’. This distance can be modulated both by situational factors and individual characteristics. Here we investigated the influence that the interpretation of other people interaction, in which one is not directly involved, may have on a person’s interpersonal space. In the current study we measured, for the first time, whether the size of interpersonal space changes after listening to other people conversations with neutral or aggressive content. The results showed that the interpersonal space expands after listening to a conversation with aggressive content relative to a conversation with a neutral content. This finding suggests that participants tend to distance themselves from an aggressive confrontation even if they are not involved in it. These results are in line with the view of the interpersonal space as a safety zone surrounding one’s body.

Type: Article
Title: Listening to a conversation with aggressive content expands the interpersonal space
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192753
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192753
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Vagnoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047269
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