A study on the resistance of observation systems of observers' expectancies


  • The authors wish to thank Peter Schönbach for comments and encouragement at various stages of the research, and Günter Keim for his help in the preparation of the films and other materials for this study.


Different sets of expectations were induced in groups of observers before asking them to observe a film. Four aspects of Hall's notation system for the observation of proxemic behavior (1963) were adopted for the purposes of this study and another observation aspect was added. All Ss observed the same scenes of the film. They only differed in the kind of information on experimenters' beliefs and the hypotheses of the observation study.

Results indicate that induced expectancies influenced the recordings of the observers. Implications of these outcomes are discussed.