Interpersonal Distancing in Cooperation

Effect of Confederate’s Interpersonal Distance Preferences
  • Yosuke KinoeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10927)


Personal space is a dynamic spatial component of interpersonal relations. This paper presented an empirical study that investigated a dynamic process of adjusting interpersonal distance in a cooperative situation.

In the experiment, there were four factors: (a) cooperative task, (b) orientation, (c) gender combination, and (d) long-short relation of interpersonal distance preferences among an evaluator and a confederate. Twenty-eight participants (14 females) joined the study. The data collection was performed by employing a standard procedure of the stop-distance method. One hundred and twelve data were obtained under the different conditions. A multiple comparison test was performed for preferred interpersonal distances.

The results revealed that: (1) interpersonal distance was shortened in a cooperative task; (2) individuals standing face-to-face produced longer interpersonal distance than those standing side-by-side; (3) male pairs produced longer preferred interpersonal distance than female pairs when pairs stood face-to-face, however, this difference was not significant when pairs stood side-by-side. In particular, the present study suggested (4) the shortening of interpersonal distance in a cooperative situation was affected by long-short relation of interpersonal distance preferences among an evaluator and an apporacher. Implications to proxemics for the design of spatial behaviors of socially assistive robots including a nursing-care robot were also discussed.


Interpersonal distance Personal space Cooperation 



We thank all the study participants and our lab. members 2016-17. We thank N. Mizuno, S. Tatsuka and E. Matsuzaka who devotedly supported for conducting experiments.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Intercultural CommunicationHosei UniversityTokyoJapan

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