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Personal Space: Exploring Human Proxemics

Personal Space: Exploring Human Proxemics - Image Produced by Dane Archer.
28 min. Color. 1999.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: Yes
Catalog #: 0008
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Sale Price: $295.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

Space is a silent language, and we all "speak" it, whether consciously or not. This fascinating and frequently funny video portrays the effects of space on everyday human behavior in an engaging and dramatic manner. Students from a variety of cultural backgrounds vividly demonstrate how our culture defines our use of space, territory, and touching.

The video does a masterful job of blending student testimony and often amusing field experiments to illuminate the use of space, territory, and touching in virtually every facet of life -- where we live, work, play, eat, and even go to the bathroom.

Topics covered in the video include people's reactions to invasions of their personal space, powerful cultural differences and strong habitual patterns in how individuals use space, family spatial arrangements, how spatial factors affect our perceptions of relationships, hierarchical space in organizations, rank and spatial "deference," the spatial bases of successful architecture, and intriguing spatial behavior in places as diverse as university classrooms and public restrooms.

This is part of the widely acclaimed series on nonverbal communication produced by Prof. Dane Archer, of UC Santa Cruz. Like all of Prof. Archer's videos, "Personal Space: Exploring Human Proxemics" is both delightful and instructional.


"Add this new work to your video library! It is a must for any course that explores the intracacies of human behavior and/or the nature of culture. As always, Prof. Archer did a great job on this video. It is educational, entertaining, and stamped with his delightful sense of humor." -- Mark L. Knapp, Jones Centennial Professor in Communication and Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas

"Dane Archer's new video entertains viewers as it teaches them about concepts related to the study and understanding of personal space. Interviews and staged incidents illustrate basic concepts in proxemics and haptics, such as territorial markers, defense tactics, interpersonal spacing, and differences between contact and non-contact cultures. In addition, an architect describes 'heroic spaces' in architecture. This video will be especially useful as a stimulus for class discussion. In the spirit of 'Candid Camera,' the video amusingly reveals what happens when one's space is invaded by a stranger or strangers. Unlike 'Candid Camera,' the event is placed within a conceptual framework and viewers are allowed to listen to the 'invadees' describe their experience. As such, the video will be useful for courses in communications, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology. It also will be useful in orientation sessions for students preparing to live in a different culture." -- Lawrence T. White, Professor of Psychology, Beloit College

"Another clear-as-a-bell and memorable set of video demonstrations from Dane Archer's Nonverbal Workshop. Students will easily understand and relate to these examples of the unspoken rules and the cultural influences that define personal space. We can only thank Prof. Archer for his continuing contributions to the teaching of social psychology." -- David Myers, Prof. of Psychology, Hope College, author of Social Psychology

"Instructors teaching courses on nonverbal behavior will want their students to see this latest addition to Prof. Dane Archer's video series on nonverbal communication. The video is interesting, funny, intriguing, and without one dull moment. It manages to portray the effects of space on everyday behavior in a vivid and often dramatic manner. I particularly liked the way the camera follows people's natural reactions to the invasion of their space and the way these people explain their reactions in a subsequent interview. I learned for the first time the meaning of 'heroic space' as used in cathedrals as well as in modern hotels. An experiment on spatial behavior in public bathrooms, particularly the choice of urinals, was amusing and instructive at the same time." -- Miron Zuckerman, Professor of Psychology, University of Rochester


  • American Psychological Assn. honoree
  • Western Psychological Assn. Award of Merit
  • American Psychiatric Assn. honoree

Additional Material

For additional information, visit http://nonverbal.ucsc.edu



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