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Eye contact with a stranger was relatively rare in center-city Philadelphia, more common in a Philadelphia suburb, and very common in a small rural Pennsylvania town. Speaking to a stranger occurred only if eye contact occurred and was rare in city and suburb but more common in the small town. These results suggest that social interaction in the city is an adaptation to overload of interpersonal contacts, rather than an expression of social pathology.
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... De forma análoga y de acuerdo con Milgram, la vida en la ciudad representa una serie continua de encuentros sobrecargados de información que resultan en diversas adaptaciones conductuales con un impacto en la vida diaria; por ejemplo, en la ejecución de tareas, la evolución de las normas sociales, el funcionamiento cognitivo, la calidad de las relaciones interpersonales y ciertos comportamientos específicos (contacto visual ;Newman & McCauley, 1977). ...
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This paper discusses a method to study the psychological environment of cities. The first section analyzes the historical origin of environmental psychology and its participation in urban theme. Then, it reviews some theoretical concepts of environmental psychology and city. On the third level, the model of Stokols[1] on the transactional environment-person typologies is used to illustrate the urban problems interested in the field of psychological environment. Finally, it expounds some quantitative and qualitative methods of environmental psychology to study urban problems.
... For example, in a job interview, eye contact is expected and reciprocated while in everyday situations, like public transport, it is often avoided. Newman & McCauley (1977) set out to test if the quality of social interaction differs between people in cities, suburbs and small towns. There tends to be reduced quality of social interaction between people in a big city as 3 opposed to those in smaller towns. ...
Article
The topic of reactive body language and eye contact between strangers is necessary research because it differs from typical face to face relational interactions. Stranger interactions among genders and one’s eye contact are often avoided by most people, whether it’s due to the setting, awkward feelings, or one’s vulnerability. It seems like there is a common communicative trend found in Late Generation Y and Early Generation Z, is avoiding eye contact with strangers when outside of one’s comfort zone (Nemko, 2016). The lack of stranger interaction involving eye contact and its effect on society is considered in this study. The researchers chose to investigate how eye contact between strangers differs in today’s society. Specifically, the researchers explored the effect of eye contact in different settings and compared that with race and gender. Participants of the study hailed from a private, faith-based institution of higher education in an urban area in the Midwestern United States. The study thoroughly addressed the relationship between how one averts their eyes because there is an uncomfortable feeling. The lack of eye contact can show a lack of empathy towards the other person; they may go through their day feeling as if they don’t exist.
... (1 or 2 s), this was recorded by the experimenter. If not, a non-response was recorded (Foxx 1977) 5 Foxx (1977), Hurley and Bennett (1988), Hurley and Marsh (1986), McCauley et al. (1978,) Newman and McCauley (1977 Coding sheet The occurrence and duration of eye contact is registered on a predefined coding sheet ...
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Eye contact is a fundamental aspect of nonverbal communication and therefore important for understanding human interaction. Eye contact has been the subject of research in many disciplines, including communication sciences, social psychology, and psychiatry, and a variety of techniques have been used to measure it. The choice of measurement method has consequences for research outcomes and their interpretation. To ensure that research findings align with study aims and populations, it is essential that methodological choices are well substantiated. Therefore, to enhance the effective examination of eye contact, we performed a literature review of the methods used to study eye contact. We searched Medline, PsycINFO and Web of Science for empirical peer-reviewed articles published in English that described quantitative studies on human eye contact and included a methodological description. The identified studies (N = 109) used two approaches to assess eye contact: direct, i.e., assessing eye contact while it is occurring, and indirect, i.e., assessing eye contact retrospectively (e.g., from video recordings). Within these categories, eight specific techniques were distinguished. Variation was found regarding the reciprocity of eye contact between two individuals, the involvement of an assessor and the behavior of participants while being studied. Measures not involving the interactors in assessment of eye contact and have a higher spatial and temporal resolution, such as eye tracking, have gained popularity. Our results show wide methodological diversity regarding the measurement of eye contact. Although studies often define eye contact as gaze towards an exact location, this may not do justice to the subjective character of eye contact. The various methodologies have hardly ever been compared, limiting the ability to compare findings between studies. Future studies should take notice of the controversy surrounding eye contact measures.
... De forma análoga y de acuerdo con Milgram, la vida en la ciudad representa una serie continua de encuentros sobrecargados de información que resultan en diversas adaptaciones conductuales con un impacto en la vida diaria; por ejemplo, en la ejecución de tareas, la evolución de las normas sociales, el funcionamiento cognitivo, la calidad de las relaciones interpersonales y ciertos comportamientos específicos (contacto visual ;Newman & McCauley, 1977). ...
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Resumen El presente artículo examina un enfoque psicoambiental para el estudio de las ciudades. En una primera sección, se analizan las raíces históricas relacionadas con los orígenes de la psicología ambiental y su participación en temáticas urbanas. Posteriormente, se expone una revisión de algunas conceptualizaciones teóricas sobre psicología ambiental y la ciudad. En un tercer plano, se emplea el modelo de Stokols (1978) sobre las tipologías transaccionales ambiente-persona para ilustrar los temas urbanos de interés en el área psicoambiental. Por último, se exponen algunos métodos cuantitativos y cualitativos empleados en el campo de la psicología ambiental para el estudio de los problemas urbanos. Palabras clave: psicología ambiental, urbanización, percepción ambiental. Abstract The present paper examines a psycho environmental approach to the study of cities. In a first section the historical roots related to the origins of environmental psychology and its participation in urban issues are analyzed. Subsequently, a review of some theoretical conceptualizations about environmental psychology and the city is presented. In a third plane, the Stokols model (1978) of transactional typologies environment-person is used in order to illustrate the urban themes of interest in the psycho-environmental area. Finally, some quantitative and qualitative methods used in the field of environmental psychology for the study of urban problems are exposed.
... As a result, in large cities, residents typically adapt to social overload by automatically filtering out less important events, leading to decreased sensitivity to others (Milgram, 1970). For example, urban dwellers initiate less eye contact than do suburbanites or small town residents as they walk past strangers (Newman & McCauley, 1977). And as population density increases from small to large cities, minor acts of helping strangers in need also decrease in frequency (Levine, Martinez, Brase, & Sorenson, 1994). ...
... However, far fewer people were influenced to stare up at a building in the UK and Sweden compared to the earlier New York study, leading to the question of whether these differences in conformity are situational. Potential influences on behavioral conformity include location (e.g., city size; Milgram 1970;Newman and McCauley 1977;Mullen et al. 1990), change in conformist behavior across time (Bond and Smith 1996), and different types of groups or entities. Knowles and Bassett (1976) manipulated the type of stimulus groups in a similar field experiment to Milgram et al. and found that those standing silently while staring up had greater influence on passersby compared to groups who interacted with one another. ...
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Conformity research in social psychology spans a century, but researchers have only adopted an evolutionary perspective in the past 25 years. This change has been driven by gene-culture coevolutionary models and research on nonhuman animals. In this chapter, we outline why there is a credible basis for an evolutionary explanation for widespread behavioral conformity in humans. However, we caution that not all conformity in humans is the same because conforming in a perceptual judgment task in the laboratory (as per the Asch paradigm) is not equivalent to being an unwitting participant in a behavioral field study. Moreover, conformity has not been consistently defined across research disciplines, which hampers a valid assessment of its evolutionary origins. Theoretical models within social psychology and the study of gene-culture coevolution are valuable tools in the quest for evolutionary explanations of conformist behavior; they have utilized gained insights while inspiring simulations and empirical tests. We propose the idea of incorporating individuals’ habit adherence into the models to advance the study of conformity. Conformity is a powerful force in human decision making and is best understood from an evolutionary perspective.
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Chapter
The environment-behavior literature related to the urban environment is in many ways as complex and diverse as the city itself. While traditionally the province of urban sociology, the urban crises of the past two decades have prompted considerable research into the nature and consequences of city life from a social psychological perspective as well. Some of the most recent work in this area has endeavored to apply and integrate environment- behavior theory and research on such concepts as density, crowding and sensory overload with more traditional views of urban life.
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Helping behavior was studied as a function of urban density. Four requests for help (for the time, for directions, for change of a quarter, and for the person's name) were solicited in three areas differing in population density (downtown in the Canadian city of Toronto, in the suburbs of the same city, in a small town outside of that city). On each measure the percentage of helping behavior decreased linearly as urban density increased. Normative data from New York City were also compared and found very similar to those from downtown Toronto. An absence of sex differences in either giving or eliciting help was noted.
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Conducted an experiment with 80 undergraduates in which Ss were convinced that crowding was imminent. It was hypothesized that the arousal of expectations of crowding would cause Ss to behave in ways suggesting that they were preparing for the experience of crowding by taking steps to reduce the impact of crowding before its onset. Similarly, it was predicted that anticipation of crowding would influence S perceptions of the experimental room, interpersonal affect, and general levels of discomfort. Results support these predictions: Ss anticipating crowding chose more socially isolated seat positions, avoided contact with others, experienced crowding and discomfort, and rated others in the setting, as well as, the room in ways generally consistent with definitions of crowding. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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Examined human interpersonal affective behavior during exposure to conditions of high population density and high temperature with 121 male and female undergraduates. Repression-Sensitization scale, Mood Adjective Check List, and Interpersonal Judgment Scale measures of liking or disliking another person were found to be more negative than during exposure to comfortable temperatures and low population density. Additional affective variables were also negatively influenced by temperature and density manipulations. Results parallel those in the animal literature reflecting deterioration of social relations under conditions of overcrowding and high temperature. Findings are discussed in the context of current population trends and other environmental conditions. (24 ref.)
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To evaluate the impact of an unanticipated partial tripling of male dormitory rooms normally used for double occupancy, data were collected from 144 male students concerning their cognitive and affective reactions to their present living situation (including perceptions of self, roommate, and room properties). Residents of triples expressed greater feelings of crowding, perceived less control over room activities, expressed more negative interpersonal attitudes, and experienced a more negative room ambience. Factor analyses carried out separately for doubles and triples revealed dramatically different implicit theories of crowding. Triples located privacy, control, interpersonal attitudes, and perceptions of crowding within the same phenomenal space; whereas doubles appeared to perceive a number of separate realms of experience involving the loading of crampedness, privacy, and interpersonal compatibility on separate factors. Although there were no overall differences in academic performance between doubles and triples, triples but not doubles manifested a negative relationship between indices of interpersonal adjustment and academic performance (average grade point and incompletes). (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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To assess the different psychological processes mediating perceptions of large numbers of people and inadequate space and to identify different behavioral responses to social and spatial density, an experiment was conducted examining the independent and interactive effects of anticipated social and spatial density; Ss were 32 male and 32 female undergraduates. It was predicted that when stimulus features of the setting aroused perceptions of large numbers of people, Ss would not respond to spatial variation but would be more immediately concerned with consequences of high social density. It was also predicted that the expectation of social structure would moderate response to social density but would not influence responses to spatial density. Futhermore, it was predicted that responses to high social densities would be oriented toward withdrawal, while response to spatial density, mediated by sex of S, would be more aggressive. Data generally confirm these expectations, suggesting that social and spatial density have consequences for mood and behavior that operate according to different dynamics. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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To examine some of the consequences of crowding on human behavior, male or female groups of 8 college students (N = 192) were confined in a crowded (small) room or an uncrowded (large) room for either 5 or 20 min. During this period Ss discussed a series of "choice-dilemma" problems. Affective dependent measures revealed consistent Room Size * Sex of S interactions. Males rated themselves and others more positively in the uncrowded condition; females evaluated themselves and others more favorably in the crowded condition. Similarly, males tended to gaze at others' faces more often in the uncrowded room, while females tended to engage in more facial regard in the crowded room. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In a series of three experiments, groups of people performed tasks under varying conditions of density. The tasks ranged from very simple to complex, from rote memory to a test of creativity. Subjects worked on the tasks for 4 hours at a time for two or three successive days. There were no significant effects of density on performance, nor any consistent trends.
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It was proposed that the experience of crowding occurs in a two-step process: First, the individual becomes aroused by violations of his personal space, and then he attributes the cause of this arousal to other people in his environment. Based on this model it was predicted that violations of personal space rather than simple density is the spatial variable associated with crowding. Further, it was predicted that the experience of crowding can be alleviated if the individual is distracted from making the attribution that his arousal is caused by other people. In order to test these prediction, interaction distance (close and far) and density (high and low) were varied separately. In addition, for half of the conditions, pictures (attribution inhibitors) were placed on the walls of the experimental room, and in the other half, the walls were bare. Subjects worked on two tasks and were then questioned about their experience of crowding. The results showed that interaction distance was more closely related to crowding than was density and that the addition of pictures reduced the experience of crowding only in the close interaction conditions. The results were interpreted as supporting the attribution analysis of crowding.
Article
An experiment was conducted in which subjects were convinced that crowding was imminent. It was hypothesized that the arousal of expectations of crowding would cause subjects to behave in ways suggesting that they were preparing for the experience of crowding by taking steps to reduce the impact of crowding before its onset. Similarly, it was predicted that anticipation of crowding would influence subject perceptions of the experimental room, interpersonal affect, and general levels of discomfort. Data collected indicated that these predictions were accurate; subjects anticipating crowding chose more socially isolated seat positions, avoided contact with others, experienced crowding and discomfort, and rated others in the setting as well as the room in ways generally consistent with definitions of crowding.