Don't stand so close to me - The effects of self-construal on interpersonal closeness
SourcePsychological Science, 15, 4, (2004), pp. 237-242
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Three studies investigated the effects of self-construal activation on behavior conducive to interpersonal proximity. Study 1 revealed that compared with control participants, participants who were primed with the independent (or personal) self sat further away from where they anticipated another person would sit in a waiting room. Results of Study 2 indicated that participants primed with the interdependent (or social) self sat closer to the anticipated other person than did those primed with the independent self. Finally, Study 3 used the chronic self-construal of participants to predict the seating distance in dyadic settings. Results showed that greater independence of participants' self-construals was associated with greater spatial distance during the interaction. Together, the studies provide clear evidence that self-construal activation automatically influences interpersonal behavior as reflected in the actual distance between the self and others. Results are discussed in terms of the functions and motives connected to self-construals.
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