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Facing off with unfair others: introducing proxemic imaging as an implicit measure of approach and avoidance during social interaction.

McCall C, Singer T - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, participants who actively punished the unfair players were more likely to stand directly in front of those players and even to turn their backs on them.Together these patterns illustrate that fairness violations influence nonverbal behavior in ways that further predict differences in more overt behavior (i.e., financial punishment).Moreover, they demonstrate that proxemic imaging can detect subtle combinations of approach and avoidance behavior during face-to-face social interactions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Nonverbal behavior expresses many of the dynamics underlying face-to-face social interactions, implicitly revealing one's attitudes, emotions, and social motives. Although research has often described nonverbal behavior as approach versus avoidant (i.e., through the study of proxemics), psychological responses to many social contexts are a mix of these two. Fairness violations are an ideal example, eliciting strong avoidance-related responses such as negative attitudes, as well as strong approach-related responses such as anger and retaliation. As such, nonverbal behavior toward unfair others is difficult to predict in discrete approach versus avoidance terms. Here we address this problem using proxemic imaging, a new method which creates frequency images of dyadic space by combining motion capture data of interpersonal distance and gaze to provide an objective but nuanced analysis of social interactions. Participants first played an economic game with fair and unfair players and then encountered them in an unrelated task in a virtual environment. Afterwards, they could monetarily punish the other players. Proxemic images of the interactions demonstrate that, overall, participants kept the fair player closer. However, participants who actively punished the unfair players were more likely to stand directly in front of those players and even to turn their backs on them. Together these patterns illustrate that fairness violations influence nonverbal behavior in ways that further predict differences in more overt behavior (i.e., financial punishment). Moreover, they demonstrate that proxemic imaging can detect subtle combinations of approach and avoidance behavior during face-to-face social interactions.

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The experiment.Participants completed an economic game (a) with two other players whom they were led to believe were fellow participants represented with avatars. Participants then wore a head mounted display (c) to complete a task in an immersive virtual environment (b) in which they again encountered the other players.
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pone.0117532.g001: The experiment.Participants completed an economic game (a) with two other players whom they were led to believe were fellow participants represented with avatars. Participants then wore a head mounted display (c) to complete a task in an immersive virtual environment (b) in which they again encountered the other players.

Mentions: The Economic Game. The economic game in this experiment was used to manipulate participants’ perceptions of the other players as fair versus unfair people. This game, played on a desktop computer (Fig. 1A), was a sequential iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, similar to that used in [2]. Each round of the game involves a first and second player. The first player is given 10 monetary units (MUs) to start. They can then choose to keep those MUs or to transfer them to the second player, at which point the number of MUs is tripled. In the next step, the second player has the option of sending the first player a proportion of those MUs. If they choose to do so, that amount is also tripled. If the first player chooses not to transfer any MUs, the round ends.


Facing off with unfair others: introducing proxemic imaging as an implicit measure of approach and avoidance during social interaction.

McCall C, Singer T - PLoS ONE (2015)

The experiment.Participants completed an economic game (a) with two other players whom they were led to believe were fellow participants represented with avatars. Participants then wore a head mounted display (c) to complete a task in an immersive virtual environment (b) in which they again encountered the other players.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4326128&req=5

pone.0117532.g001: The experiment.Participants completed an economic game (a) with two other players whom they were led to believe were fellow participants represented with avatars. Participants then wore a head mounted display (c) to complete a task in an immersive virtual environment (b) in which they again encountered the other players.
Mentions: The Economic Game. The economic game in this experiment was used to manipulate participants’ perceptions of the other players as fair versus unfair people. This game, played on a desktop computer (Fig. 1A), was a sequential iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, similar to that used in [2]. Each round of the game involves a first and second player. The first player is given 10 monetary units (MUs) to start. They can then choose to keep those MUs or to transfer them to the second player, at which point the number of MUs is tripled. In the next step, the second player has the option of sending the first player a proportion of those MUs. If they choose to do so, that amount is also tripled. If the first player chooses not to transfer any MUs, the round ends.

Bottom Line: However, participants who actively punished the unfair players were more likely to stand directly in front of those players and even to turn their backs on them.Together these patterns illustrate that fairness violations influence nonverbal behavior in ways that further predict differences in more overt behavior (i.e., financial punishment).Moreover, they demonstrate that proxemic imaging can detect subtle combinations of approach and avoidance behavior during face-to-face social interactions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Social Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Nonverbal behavior expresses many of the dynamics underlying face-to-face social interactions, implicitly revealing one's attitudes, emotions, and social motives. Although research has often described nonverbal behavior as approach versus avoidant (i.e., through the study of proxemics), psychological responses to many social contexts are a mix of these two. Fairness violations are an ideal example, eliciting strong avoidance-related responses such as negative attitudes, as well as strong approach-related responses such as anger and retaliation. As such, nonverbal behavior toward unfair others is difficult to predict in discrete approach versus avoidance terms. Here we address this problem using proxemic imaging, a new method which creates frequency images of dyadic space by combining motion capture data of interpersonal distance and gaze to provide an objective but nuanced analysis of social interactions. Participants first played an economic game with fair and unfair players and then encountered them in an unrelated task in a virtual environment. Afterwards, they could monetarily punish the other players. Proxemic images of the interactions demonstrate that, overall, participants kept the fair player closer. However, participants who actively punished the unfair players were more likely to stand directly in front of those players and even to turn their backs on them. Together these patterns illustrate that fairness violations influence nonverbal behavior in ways that further predict differences in more overt behavior (i.e., financial punishment). Moreover, they demonstrate that proxemic imaging can detect subtle combinations of approach and avoidance behavior during face-to-face social interactions.

Show MeSH