Illumination Level as an Influence Factor on Proxemic Behavior
Laughead, Amy Louise
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This study used Michelson's (1976) Intersystems Congruence Model and Hall's (1966) theories of proxemic zones to guide in the investigation of illumination level's influence on proxemic behavior. This study attempted to determine potential influence of the effect of bright or dim lighting conditions on the personal space requirements within the behavioral setting of waiting/reception areas. Both a quantitative approach and qualitative approach were taken with this investigation. To control for various cultural, social, environmental and situational variables as possible, illuminated scale-models were constructed of three waiting/reception area scenarios and a homogenous sample of Americans participated in the study. Subjects interacted with these models by placing scale-figures within them, and answered a series of both quantitative and open-ended questions. Proxemic recordings of scale-figure placements were performed and statistically analyzed. The quantitative results showed that under general ambient bright and dim lighting conditions, there were no significant differences in personal space requirements in the waiting/receptions area behavioral setting. Thus, lighting does not appear to be a determining factor in achieving adequate personal space. The qualitative analysis agreed with these results, noting other factors as being more important, such as, the proximity to others, presence of tables (assuming they hold reading materials), and a view of the entire space. This phenomenon means ambient illumination level does not play a large role in determining proxemic distances between individuals in waiting area settings.
- Masters Theses