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The effects of subjects' age and expectations regarding an interviewer on personal space.

Authors
  • Feroleto, J A
  • Gounard, B R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental aging research
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1975
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
57–61
Identifiers
PMID: 1053204
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

How close individuals seat themselves to an interviewer was studied as a function of subjects' age and expectations regarding the interviewer. An experimental approach situation was used and the subjects were 10 college students and 10 residents of a county home. Those subjects who had been told to expect an unpleasant interaction seated themselves significantly farther from the interviewer than did those who expected a pleasant interaction. Also, the older subjects seated themselves significantly farther from the interviewer than the younger subjects did. The difference between the age groups was minimal when the subjects' expectations were positive, but was pronounced when the subjects' expectations were negative. The results appear to reflect a greater susceptibility among older individuals to feeling threatened and ill-at-ease in an interpersonal situation.

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