The presence of an out-group person reduces the range of near space
33.302, Sunday, May 12, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Royal Ballroom 6-8
Zhenzhu Yue1; 1Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University
The space around us and within arms reach is known as near (peripersonal) space, generally less than about 60 cm. It has been known that near space is represented differently as far (extrapersonal) space. For example, in a line bisection task, participants are required to bisect lines at different distances, showing a leftward bias in near space and a rightward bias in far space. In the present study, we investigated whether the presence of others affected the transition from near to far space. In Experiment 1, participants were required to bisect a line (10 cm or 40 cm) in near space alone or with another person of different gender who sat opposite to actual participants. A contraction of near space was observed, because participants showed a rightward bias to the real midpoint of the line at 40 cm in the two-people condition, but not in single-person condition. By contrast, a significant leftward bias to the real midpoint of the line at 10 cm was observed for both conditions. However, such an effect disappeared in Experiment 2 when the gender of two people was the same in the two-people condition. In Experiment 3, two people of same gender were controlled from either ingroup or outgroup, and they bisected a line (28 cm or 58 cm) together. A reduce of near space was observed for the outgroup condition, i. e. a rightward bias for the line at 58 cm, but not for the ingroup condition. By contrast, no such effects at was observed for the line at 28 cm in both conditions. Our results support that the presence of others does not necessarily influence the range of near space. However, a stranger from another categorization (e.g. different gender or group identification) could reduce the extent of near space.