Investigating the Comfort Distance of Chinese in Eight Directions

  • Xiaoqing Yu
  • Yu-Chi LeeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 576)


The aim of the study was to investigate the preferred comfort distance that Chinese people keep between themselves and others. An experiment was carried out to measure the comfort distance around participants, and the gender effect of the participant was evaluated. Twenty-eight participants (15 females) were recruited in the experiment. All the participants were asked to stand naturally when a confederate approaching them. The comfort distances between participants and confederates in the eight directions (0°, 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, 315°) were collected to analyze. The results indicated that the comfort distance in the front was larger than that in the lateral and rear. In addition, there was no significant difference between male and female participants on the comfort distance under the selected eight directions. The study could contribute to the research on the social interactions of Chinese.


Comfort distance Directions Chinese Gender effect 



The authors would like to express our great appreciation to the financial support by the South China University of Technology under the grant No. D6192270.


  1. 1.
    Hall ET (1966) The hidden dimension. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hayduk LA (1983) Personal space: where we now stand. Psychol Bull 94:293–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gifford R, Sacilotto PA (1993) Social isolation and personal space: a field study. Can J Behav Sci 25:165–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dosey MA, Meisels M (1969) Personal space and self-protection. J Pers Soc Psychol 11:93–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kennedy DP, Gläscher J, Tyszka JM et al (2009) Personal space regulation by the human amygdala. Nat Neurosci 12:1226–1227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gessaroli E, Santelli E, di Pellegrino G et al (2013) Personal space regulation in childhood autism spectrum disorders. PLoS ONE 8:e74959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Iachini T, Coello Y, Frassinetti F et al (2014) Body space in social interactions: a comparison of reaching and comfort distance in immersive virtual reality. PLoS ONE 9:e111511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Remland MS, Jones TS, Brinkman H (1995) Interpersonal distance, body orientation, and touch: effects of culture, gender, and age. J Soc Psychol 135:281–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Uzzell D, Horne N (2006) The influence of biological sex, sexuality and gender role on interpersonal distance. Br J Soc Psychol 45:579–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sussman NM, Rosenfeld HM (1982) Influence of culture, language, and sex on conversational distance. J Pers Soc Psychol 42:66–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Baldassare M, Feller S (1975) Cultural variations in personal space. Ethos 3:481–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ford JG, Graves JR (1977) Differences between Mexican-American and White children in interpersonal distance and social touching. Percept Mot Skills 45:779–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sorokowska A, Sorokowski P, Hilpert P et al (2017) Preferred interpersonal distances: a global comparison. J Cross Cult Psychol 48:577–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ruggiero G, Frassinetti F, Coello Y et al (2017) The effect of facial expressions on peripersonal and interpersonal spaces. Psychol Res 81:1232–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hayduk LA (1981) The shape of personal space: an experimental investigation. Can J Behav Sci 13:87–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Amaoka T, Laga H, Nakajima M (2009) Modeling the personal space of virtual agents for behavior simulation. In: 2009 international conference on CyberWorlds. IEEE, pp 364–370Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bailenson JN, Blascovich J, Beall AC et al (2003) Interpersonal distance in immersive virtual environments. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 29:819–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Iachini T, Coello Y, Frassinetti F et al (2016) Peripersonal and interpersonal space in virtual and real environments: effects of gender and age. J Environ Psychol 45:154–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of DesignSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations