Proxemic and haptic behavior in three European countries

Abstract

The influence of culture, gender, and age on proxemic and haptic behavior was investigated in this observational field study. Video recordings of 253 naturally-occurring dyadic interactions in the Netherlands, France, and England were analyzed by trained coders. Contrary to expectations, Hall's hypothesis regarding the proxemic and haptic norms of contact and noncontact cultures was not well supported. Among seated interactants, Dutch dyads maintained greater distances than French and English dyads, but French dyads were less proximate than were English dyads. The body orientation of French dyads was more direct than it was for Dutch or English dyads. In addition, with the exception of limited data on touch, neither the gender-composition of the dyad nor the gender of the individual affected the distances or body orientations of the interactants as would be expected according to traditional sex-role socialization processes. Age, as well, did not influence proxemic or haptic behavior. Results are discussed, primarily with respect to the research methods used in this and in previous investigations.

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Remland, M.S., Jones, T.S. & Brinkman, H. Proxemic and haptic behavior in three European countries. J Nonverbal Behav 15, 215–232 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00986923

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Keywords

  • European Country
  • Social Psychology
  • Research Method
  • Field Study
  • Previous Investigation