Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 15–26 | Cite as

Interpersonal Distances in Group Walking

Original Paper

Abstract

The spatial organization of 1,020 groups comprised of adolescents and young adults, observed in an ecological setting while walking, was analyzed. Observations were made in an urban environment where walking speed could be considered. The results showed that male dyads and triads tended to walk abreast less often than female dyads. Mixed dyads walked abreast more often than same-sex dyads; and the males preceded the females in two-thirds of the cases. The male groups walked at a higher rate of speed than the female groups. Walking speed was correlated to misalignment between group members when walking. The most frequent spatial arrangement in triads was a “<” formation (as seen from above, while the walking direction was from left to right), with the middle individual positioned slightly behind in comparison to the lateral individuals. Groups comprised of more than three individuals tended to split themselves into single individuals, dyads, and triads.

Keywords

Proxemic Interpersonal distances Group behavior 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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