that she had taken the wrong chair. Later, her coworker told her that Mrs. Jones had claimed that chair since before anyone could remember. The new employee noted that it took three months before Mrs. Jones would speak to her and stop giving her the evil eye.Having reviewed the four preventive techniques of territorial defense, consider the second primary method, reaction. This method of defense is important if prevention hasfailed. When our territories are encroached on by others, we become physiologically aroused. When we become aroused because of encroachment, we label that arousal as either positive or negative. That is, not all encroachment is interpreted as a bad thing. Sometimes it makes us feel good, relieved, or comfortable, as often happens with 2 close companions. At other times, however, encroachment is interpreted negatively because it creates stress, anxiety, or even embarrassment.Depending on whether we decide that the arousal caused by encroachment is positive or negative, our reaction will take one of two forms. If we see the encroachment as positive, we will reciprocate. This means essentially that we encroach on the person who encroached on us, also in some positive way. For example, John finally gets up the nerve to put his arm around Heather while watching a movie. Heather interprets this encroachment positively and reciprocates by resting her head on John’s shoulder. Often,however, we perceive the encroachment negatively. There are three general types of encroachment that we usually perceive negatively: violation, invasion, and contamination (VIC) (Lyman & Scott, 1967).Types of Negative EncroachmentViolationis the unwarranted use of someone’s territory. Unlike invasion, violation usually is temporary in nature. The encroacher uses someone’s sacred spot without permission. While Dad is out, little Sonya feels free to sit in his chair. A major complaint of many college students about their roommates is that the roommates use their car, DVD player, hair dryer, clothes, or television without first getting permission. Newlywed
couples often have difficulty adjusting to married life because, for the first time in their lives, someone encroaches on their possessions regularly.Invasionis a drastic and permanent encroachment in which the invader actually crosses the territorial boundaries of another with the intention of taking over and keeping the territory. When an invasion occurs, the encroacher imposes her or his physical presence on the territory of the owner and usually wants to propel that owner out. Of course, an invasion can occur on a large or small scale. One country invading another to expand its own territorial boundaries represents a large-scale invasion. On the other hand, the school bully who invades the area of the playground claimed by others illustrates a small-scale invasion (Fisher & Byrne, 1975; Hughes & Goldman, 1978).