The Effects of an Invasion of Personal Space in a Public Setting

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The Effects of an Invasion of Personal Space in a Public Setting
Social norms are a part of any culture. Each society constructs its own norms. In each society norms tell a person how it is normal to behave. If someone deviates from the norm they risk rejection by society. Azar (2004) theorizes that we follow social norms not only because of conformity but also because there are benefits for us as well. Some examples are the feeling of being kind and the feeling of impressing others. Every society has many norms with are followed without much thought. By following these norms there is less risk of being ostracized by your society.

A more specific norm is the norm of personal space which is an invisible bubble we put around our bodies and have a feeling of discomfort when someone intrudes on that space. There is evidence to show that personal space norms are learned and those norms are influenced by each society (Leibman 1970). For example, Americans like to keep a greater amount of space between them and another person than do people of some other countries like India. However, the relationship to the person does make a difference even in America. It has been proven that it depends on the individual's relationship with another person if they are bothered by an intrusion of their space. If one person knows the other person they are more likely to travel closer to them than they are a stranger (Matthews & Matlock 2011). Studies have also shown that attractiveness plays a role in how people react to an invasion of personal space. When the intruder is attractive more positive emotions are shown. The opposite is true with an unattractive person, there are more feelings of disgust and sadness (Banziger & Simmons 1984). As previous studies show there are many different things that determine people's reaction to an invasion of their personal space.

We as humans have a strong desire to avoid invading someone's personal space. When given a choice the majority of...
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