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The effect of interpersonal distance on task performance : Distraction-conflict theory in social facilitation

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  • 対人距離が課題遂行に及ぼす効果 : 社会的促進における注意のコンフリクト仮説の検討
  • タイジン キョリ ガ カダイ スイコウ ニ オヨボス コウカ シャカイテキ ソ

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of interpersonal distance on task performance. According to distraction-conflict theory, the distracter (observer or coactor) can elevate drive by provoking attentional conflict. In Exp. I, 57 female undergraduates were randomly assigned to three distance locations (proximal, peripheral, and distant). They performed substitution tasks (simple and complex) in observed situations. For simple tasks, subjects in the 'peripheral' and 'proximal' groups showed a slightly higher level of performance than those in the 'distant' group. For complex tasks, on the other hand, the result was the opposite. In Exp. II, a 2 × 3 factorial design (high and low social comparison pressures by three distances) was used. One-hundred-twentysix undergraduates participated in pairs as coactors. The main effect of social comparison pressure was seen for simple tasks, whereas, for complex tasks, a result resembling that found in simple tasks in Exp. I was attained. The implications of the results were discussed in terms of task difficulty and distractor impact.

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