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Come together: Two studies concerning the impact of group relations on personal space


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr John Drury, Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK (e-mail:


This paper describes two experiments investigating the impact of group relations on personal space. In Study 1, participants (N =39) in minimal groups were told that they would be interacting with another person. In line with expectations, personal space (as measured by the distance between chairs) was significantly less in the intragroup context than in the intergroup and interpersonal contexts. This finding was replicated in Study 2 (N =80) using an improved experimental design. These results are discussed in terms of developing a self-categorization account of personal space and crowding.