Keeping your distance: attentional withdrawal in individuals who show physiological signs of social discomfort

dc.contributor.author Szpak, Ancret
dc.contributor.author Loetscher, Tobias
dc.contributor.author Churches, Owen
dc.contributor.author Thomas, Nicole A
dc.contributor.author Spence, Charles J
dc.contributor.author Nicholls, Michael Elmo Richard
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-07T23:26:42Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-07T23:26:42Z
dc.date.issued 2014-10-16
dc.description No author version is available for upload (MF 8 Dec 2015) en
dc.description.abstract Being in close social proximity to a stranger is generally perceived to be an uncomfortable experience, which most people seek to avoid. In circumstances where crowding is unavoidable, however, people may seek to withdraw their attention from the other person. This study examined whether social discomfort, as indexed by electrodermal activity, is related to a withdrawal of attention in 28 (m=8, f=20) university students. Students performed a radial line bisection task while alone or together with a stranger facing them. Physiological arousal was indexed by a wrist monitor, which recorded electrodermal activity. Correlational analyses showed that individuals who displayed physiological discomfort when together showed a withdrawal of the perceived midpoint of the line towards them (and away from the stranger). Conversely, individuals who showed no discomfort exhibited an expansion of the perceived midpoint away from them. We propose that participants shift their attention away from the stranger to increase interpersonal distance and reduce anxiety/arousal. en
dc.description.sponsorship This research was supported with funding from a Discovery Project from the Australian Research Council (DP 130100541). en
dc.identifier.citation Szpak, A., Loetscher, T., Churches, O.F., Thomas, N.A., Spence, C.J. and Nicholls, M.E.R., 2015. Keeping your distance: attentional withdrawal in individuals who show physiological signs of social discomfort. Neuropsychologia 70, 462-467. en
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.10.008 en
dc.identifier.issn 1873-3514
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2328/35774
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier BV en
dc.relation http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP130100541 en_US
dc.relation.grantnumber ARC/DP130100541 en_US
dc.rights http://www.elsevier.com/about/company-information/policies/sharing en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. en_US
dc.subject Psychology en_US
dc.subject Attention en_US
dc.subject Social proximity en_US
dc.title Keeping your distance: attentional withdrawal in individuals who show physiological signs of social discomfort en_US
dc.type Article en
local.contributor.authorOrcidLookup Thomas, Nicole A: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1112-9024 en_US
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