Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MP3 players 'shrink' our personal space

Date:
October 17, 2011
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
Researchers wanted to find out whether there is a way to make the intrusion of our personal space on the subway (underground railway) more tolerable. Their results reveal that listening to music through headphones can change people’s margins of personal space.

How close could a stranger come to you before you start feeling uncomfortable? Usually, people start feeling uneasy when unfamiliar people come within an arm's reach. But take the subway (underground rail) during rush hour and you have no choice but to get up close and personal with complete strangers.

Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London wanted to find out whether there is a way to make this intrusion more tolerable. Their results, published in the journal PLoS One, reveal that listening to music through headphones can change people's margins of personal space.

Dr Manos Tsakiris, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, said: "This distance we try to maintain between ourselves and others is a comfort zone surrounding our bodies. Everyone knows where the boundaries of their personal space are even though they may not consciously dictate them. Of course personal space can be modified for example in a number of relationships including family members and romantic partners, but on a busy tube or bus you can find complete strangers encroaching in this space."

The study, led by Dr Tsakiris and Dr Ana Tajadura-Jiménez from Royal Holloway, involved asking volunteers to listen to positive or negative emotion-inducing music through headphones or through speakers. At the same time, a stranger started walking towards them and the participants were asked to say "stop" when they started feeling uncomfortable.

The results showed that when participants were listening to music that evoked positive emotions through headphones, they let the stranger come closer to them, indicating a change in their own personal space. Dr Tajadura-Jiménez explains: "Listening to music that induces positive emotions delivered through headphones shifts the margins of personal space. Our personal space "shrinks," allowing others to get closer to us."

Dr Tsakiris added: "So next time you are ready to board a packed train, turn on your mp3 player and let others come close to you without fear of feeling invaded."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Tajadura-Jiménez, Galini Pantelidou, Pawel Rebacz, Daniel Västfjäll, Manos Tsakiris. I-Space: The Effects of Emotional Valence and Source of Music on Interpersonal Distance. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e26083 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026083

Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "MP3 players 'shrink' our personal space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013085117.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2011, October 17). MP3 players 'shrink' our personal space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013085117.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "MP3 players 'shrink' our personal space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013085117.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) — Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins