Do feel slightly uncomfortable in the bathroom? How does the presence of others in the bathroom affect you? What about places other than the bathroom? How close is too close? A psychological study was done in 1976 in which psychology researchers hid in men’s bathrooms to observe…well, you’ll find out. Learn more about personal space in this episode of The Psych Files.
The article discussed in this episode:
Middlemist, R. D., Knowles, E. S. & Matter, C.F. (1976). Personal Space Invasions in the Lavatory: Suggestive Evidence for Arousal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33 (5), 541-546.
Click here to listen to a follow-up episode in which I discuss how the authors of this study responded to criticisms of their ethical procedures.
Watch this episode from NPR video on personal space in Second Life: “Avatar gender and personal space invasion anxiety level in desktop collaborative virtual environments.”