Invasion of personal space


Middlemis,Knowles and matter 1976- personal space

Aim:Middlemist et al wanted to see if invasion of personall spcae produces arousal  Method: The setting was a mens public lavatory. The effect that distance had on arousal could be easily measured.At random they were put into one of three conditions:

  • The experimenter stood immediately next to the pps
  • The experimenter stodd at the other end of the three urinals from the pps
  • Noone else came into the urinal  Two measures were taken. the first was a measure of how quickly the pps began to urrinate. The second measure was how much time the pps took to urinate.

Results:the closer the experimenter stood, the longer it took the pps to begin urination. Also the closer the exprimenter stood the less time it took the pps to 'complete' urination.

Conclusion: The evidence suggests that invasion of personal space in men produces physiological changes associated with arousal. The more the personal space was invaded the more physiologically aroused the men became which affected there bladders    Evaluation:+ The fact there are three conditions that can be compared including a control condition, means that the study relisbly showed that it is the distance between the pps rather than anything else that affects arousal    - There are serious ethical issues with this study. The pps had not been consulted; in addition they may well have experienced embarressment and discomfort

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