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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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Proxemic imaging.Proxemic images are frequency maps of digital tracking data created using three data points (a): the distance between the two people, and the differences from direct gaze for each person. Each sample of tracking data is binned into a three dimensional space defined by these variables (b). By collapsing across any one of these dimensions, we produce (c) a map of the gaze patters of the dyad (i.e., from face-to-face to back-to-back) as well as (d and e) bird’s eye views of the space around either person.
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pone.0117532.g002: Proxemic imaging.Proxemic images are frequency maps of digital tracking data created using three data points (a): the distance between the two people, and the differences from direct gaze for each person. Each sample of tracking data is binned into a three dimensional space defined by these variables (b). By collapsing across any one of these dimensions, we produce (c) a map of the gaze patters of the dyad (i.e., from face-to-face to back-to-back) as well as (d and e) bird’s eye views of the space around either person.

Mentions: To compare nonverbal responses to the unfair and fair players in greater detail, we used proxemic imaging (Fig. 2). Proxemic images use position and tracking data from a social interaction between two people to depict where each interactant appeared within the other’s egocentric space, and to depict the joint gaze behavior of the two individuals. To create the proxemic images of an interaction between Person 1 and Person 2, we use three variables for each sample of tracking data: 1) the interpersonal distance between Person 1 and Person 2, 2) the angle at which Person 2 is positioned with respect to Person 1’s head angle, and 3) the angle at which Person 1 is positioned with respect to Person 2’s head angle. Interpersonal distance is simply the Euclidean distance between the two individuals’ heads (in meters). The angle variables are calculated by getting the angular difference between the direction that a person’s head is pointed and the direction that they would point if they were gazing directly at the other person. This value can be anywhere from 0 degrees (when one’s head is pointed directly at the other person), to 180 degrees (when one’s back is to the other person).


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)

Proxemic imaging.Proxemic images are frequency maps of digital tracking data created using three data points (a): the distance between the two people, and the differences from direct gaze for each person. Each sample of tracking data is binned into a three dimensional space defined by these variables (b). By collapsing across any one of these dimensions, we produce (c) a map of the gaze patters of the dyad (i.e., from face-to-face to back-to-back) as well as (d and e) bird’s eye views of the space around either person.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0117532.g002: Proxemic imaging.Proxemic images are frequency maps of digital tracking data created using three data points (a): the distance between the two people, and the differences from direct gaze for each person. Each sample of tracking data is binned into a three dimensional space defined by these variables (b). By collapsing across any one of these dimensions, we produce (c) a map of the gaze patters of the dyad (i.e., from face-to-face to back-to-back) as well as (d and e) bird’s eye views of the space around either person.
Mentions: To compare nonverbal responses to the unfair and fair players in greater detail, we used proxemic imaging (Fig. 2). Proxemic images use position and tracking data from a social interaction between two people to depict where each interactant appeared within the other’s egocentric space, and to depict the joint gaze behavior of the two individuals. To create the proxemic images of an interaction between Person 1 and Person 2, we use three variables for each sample of tracking data: 1) the interpersonal distance between Person 1 and Person 2, 2) the angle at which Person 2 is positioned with respect to Person 1’s head angle, and 3) the angle at which Person 1 is positioned with respect to Person 2’s head angle. Interpersonal distance is simply the Euclidean distance between the two individuals’ heads (in meters). The angle variables are calculated by getting the angular difference between the direction that a person’s head is pointed and the direction that they would point if they were gazing directly at the other person. This value can be anywhere from 0 degrees (when one’s head is pointed directly at the other person), to 180 degrees (when one’s back is to the other person).

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