Effects of Seating distance and room illumination on the affective outcomes of small group interaction

Martin Giesen1, Clyde Hendrick1
1Kent State University, United States
Cite this article:  Giesen, M., & Hendrick, C. (1974). Effects of Seating distance and room illumination on the affective outcomes of small group interaction. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 2, 87-96.

Volume 2 Issue 1 | e62 | Published: February 1974 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1974.2.1.87

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Three experiments were conducted to explore the effects of variation in room illumination and in seating distance between members of a small group on moods, evaluations, attraction, and opinion expression. Groups of 3 participants and a moderator discussed a socially relevant issue and then made several ratings. During the discussion, group members sat either very close to each other or far apart. In the first 2 studies room illumination ranged from normal lighting to darkness, and in the third study the room was either red or blue in hue. Check questions indicated successful manipulation of the variables. However, across the 3 experiments there were only slight effects for the several measures of affective response. The results indicate that, contrary to expectation, interaction distance is not per se a very powerful variable. Very likely, pleasant or unpleasant effect will depend on distance only under relatively circumscribed boundary conditions, which are, as yet, undetermined.
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