NONVERBAL COMMUNICATIONProxemics: Territoriality, Defense, and Reaction Created by: A. Nelson
Proxemics is the study of the communicative aspects of space.
Territoriality is personal space we don't want others to invade. Lyman and Scott (1967) identify 3 types of territorial encroachments: Invasion Violation Contamination
Invasion INVASION is more all-encompassing and permanent. It is an attempt to take over another's territory.
Violation VIOLATION involves the unwarranted use of another's territory. This may be done with the eyes, the voice or other sounds, or with the body.
Contamination CONTAMINATION is defiling another's territory, not by presence but what we leave behind.
Defense The 2 primary methods for territorial defense are: Prevention Reaction
Defense PREVENTION is a means of staking out our territory so others recognize it as ours and go elsewhere. A person's presence in a place can keep others from entering it.
Defense Objects are also used as territorial markers to designate "your" spatial area. Although one doesn't always own a particular territory, we nonetheless presume "ownership" by the sheer frequency with which we occupy a space or by the markers we use to communicate that the territory is "ours."
If the prevention of territorial violations does not work, how do people react? When people come close to use in face-to-face encounters, we are physiologically aroused; heart rate and skin responses increase.
Reaction One response to invasion of our privacy is behavior that restores our privacy zone. This response accepts the invitation and cedes the territory. Another response is the well-known elevator phenomenon, in which people are crowded more closely than they like, so everyone looks up or down as if to say “I’m not trying to intrude into your space.” A third response is to challenge the invasion—to stand your ground and refuse to yield territory.
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