research methods- research paper 1

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Running head: REACTIONS AS FUNCTIONS OF SPATIAL INTRUSION The Reaction of Participants as a Function of Spatial Intrusion Brandi Donehoo and Susan Martinez University of Pittsburgh 1
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Running head: REACTIONS AS FUNCTIONS OF SPATIAL INTRUSION Abstract Spatial intrusion was studied with an observational study of 131 undergraduate students. For this study, one observation was the reaction to a confederate moving the edge of a laboratory seat aligning with the computer’s tower that divided the confederate from the subject. The second observation was that in addition to the move, the confederate placed an elbow next to the subject’s arm without touching. The predicted participant response to the spatial intrusion was a physical response and that the greater the degrees of spatial intrusion, the more frequent the observed physical responses would be. This hypothesis was supported with a chi-square test, which demonstrated that students were more likely to react physically, occurring more frequently with the more intrusive measure (X² (2, N =131) = 13.86, p>.05). Introduction The theory of personal space has been argued in many studies and psychology journals. Some personal space theories include the Argyle-Dean intimacy equilibrium theory, Dosey-Meisels protection theory, stimulation theory, and Duke-Nowicki social learning theory (Hayduk 1978). Variables within these theories range from age, sex, culture, friendship or liking. Other studies approaches to measuring reactions to individual’s person space require observation in libraries with proximity levels being tested by seating arrangements or observations on trains during the daily commute (Patterson, Mullens, & Romano 1971; Evansa & Wenerc 2007). However, these studies fail to answer the question on personal space about extremes and how they affect comfort and stress levels. Our study displays the reactions of students in a computer lab under a lesser circumstance of the experimenter moving the computer chair closer to the 2
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Running head: REACTIONS AS FUNCTIONS OF SPATIAL INTRUSION participants, and then the reactions of a more extreme condition of the experimenter moving closer and leaning over the participant. By doing this, we are able to observe that the degree of intrusion does have an effect on the participant’s reaction, and we expect to see more of a physical or audible response with the higher degree of invasion. Method Participants A total of 131 undergraduate students of the University of Pittsburgh were selected to participate in this study. Participation was contingent upon the subject having an empty seat next to them and also the ability to be seen by an observer from an angle.
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