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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 punishment contrast (high punishers > low punishers).The t-statistic contrasts for the participants’ proxemic responses between high versus low punishers reveal a significant cluster in the unfair player’s space (cluster p <.02) but not the fair player’s space. The dyadic gaze maps further reveal significant clusters for participant responses to both the unfair (cluster p < .01) and fair players (cluster p < .05).
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pone.0117532.g004: The punishment contrast (high punishers > low punishers).The t-statistic contrasts for the participants’ proxemic responses between high versus low punishers reveal a significant cluster in the unfair player’s space (cluster p <.02) but not the fair player’s space. The dyadic gaze maps further reveal significant clusters for participant responses to both the unfair (cluster p < .01) and fair players (cluster p < .05).

Mentions: Individual Differences in Punishment Behavior. To compare the proxemic responses of the high versus low punishers, we ran an independent samples t-test for each type of proxemic map (Fig. 4). A significant cluster emerged in the unfair player’s space (cluster p<.02) whereby high punishers spent a significantly greater amount of time directly in front of the unfair player than low punishers. They did not, however, spend any more time standing in front of the fair player. The dyadic gaze maps also reveal unique patterns in the high punishers’ treatment of unfair player. Specifically, a significant cluster (cluster p < .01) emerges showing that when high punishers were standing in front of the unfair players, they both looked directly at them and turned their backs to them (cluster p<.01). This was not the case with fair players. Although high punishers were more likely than low punishers to engage in mutual gaze with the fair players (cluster p < .05), they were not more likely to turn their backs on them.


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 punishment contrast (high punishers > low punishers).The t-statistic contrasts for the participants’ proxemic responses between high versus low punishers reveal a significant cluster in the unfair player’s space (cluster p <.02) but not the fair player’s space. The dyadic gaze maps further reveal significant clusters for participant responses to both the unfair (cluster p < .01) and fair players (cluster p < .05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0117532.g004: The punishment contrast (high punishers > low punishers).The t-statistic contrasts for the participants’ proxemic responses between high versus low punishers reveal a significant cluster in the unfair player’s space (cluster p <.02) but not the fair player’s space. The dyadic gaze maps further reveal significant clusters for participant responses to both the unfair (cluster p < .01) and fair players (cluster p < .05).
Mentions: Individual Differences in Punishment Behavior. To compare the proxemic responses of the high versus low punishers, we ran an independent samples t-test for each type of proxemic map (Fig. 4). A significant cluster emerged in the unfair player’s space (cluster p<.02) whereby high punishers spent a significantly greater amount of time directly in front of the unfair player than low punishers. They did not, however, spend any more time standing in front of the fair player. The dyadic gaze maps also reveal unique patterns in the high punishers’ treatment of unfair player. Specifically, a significant cluster (cluster p < .01) emerges showing that when high punishers were standing in front of the unfair players, they both looked directly at them and turned their backs to them (cluster p<.01). This was not the case with fair players. Although high punishers were more likely than low punishers to engage in mutual gaze with the fair players (cluster p < .05), they were not more likely to turn their backs on them.

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