Personal Space: Exploring Human Proxemics
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.