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The effects of group membership and interpersonal distance on interpersonal anxiety and compliance with a small request were explored. In a field experiment, people seated alone in the public eating area or a shopping mall were approached by one of two female confederates: an in-group member or an out-group member. Three different interpersonal distances were assumed by the confederates: near, medium, and far. The “medium” distance was the normative distance for interactions between strangers in the experimental situation. Although the out-group confederate aroused greater anxiety and obtained less compliance than the in-group confederate overall, these differences completely disappeared in the far-distance condition. It is suggested that one reason why out-group members are less likely to elicit compliance with a small request is that they arouse interpersonal anxiety on the part of potential helpers. The results of the present experiment indicate that this anxiety can be reduced (and compliance thereby increased) if the out-group member assumes a somewhat greater distance than is normally deemed appropriate for interactions between strangers.