Nonverbal Final Paper

Nonverbal Final Paper - Establishing Personal Territories...

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Establishing Personal Territories Final Paper: Establishing Personal Territories Nonverbal Communication Professor: Vasilyeva April 25, 2011 Introduction:
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Establishing Personal Territories Each person varies in how he or she establishes his or her territory depending on the context of the setting. In a public setting, it was common to see people use markers to claim temporary occupancy to establish their personal territory because the freedom of the territory might be ambiguous. Whereas central markers are utilized when people place items to mark their territory, boundary markers show that the entire place belongs to the person. In the face of territorial encroachment, people generally react to anyone who tries to violate, invade, or contaminate their territory in a negative manner. Furthermore, the level of stimulus intensity, which is primarily influenced by the population density of the geographic area and the distance between the subject and the intruder, can potentially affect the subject’s reactions to encroachment. If the stimulus intensity is high, meaning the population density is moderately low and the intruder is fairly close to the subject, people generally prefer to use the method of withdrawal. The subject’s degree of uncertainty towards the intruder and their perception of the size of his or her territory can also influence their reactions to territorial encroachment. Observations were taken place in the following public settings: Starbucks Coffee Shop, AMC Loews Movie Theater, 7 Subway Train, VIP Airport Lounge in JFK, and Central Park. Literature Review: According to the article, “The Invasion and Defense of Personal Territory on Pacific Beaches: A Study in Human Ethology,” by Syrop and Ekroth, people’s reactions to encroachment of personal space are highly variable and depend on a few external factors. Three external factors were explored in this article: population density of the public beach area, population density of the immediate area around the subject, and the distance between the subject and the intruder. These three dimensions were hypothesized to influence the “stimulus intensity” of the intruder’s presence into the subject’s personal territory.
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Establishing Personal Territories This study recruited nine male participants who were all assigned as the intruders. In addition, this study was limited to only male to male interactions to avoid variability in responses due to the difference between sex. Single males were selected on various beaches on the island of Oahu, Hawaii without their knowledge that an investigation was taking place. The stimulus intensity values were calculated as follows: the most intense rating would be a 3, which indicates a desolated beach, no one was in the subject’s immediate area, and the intruder was extremely close. On the other hand, the least intense rating of 1 signals a densely populated beach, more than one person in the immediate area of the subject, and the intruder was far away. There seems to be a relationship between the level of stimulus intensity and the
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Nonverbal Final Paper - Establishing Personal Territories...

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