Introversion and human-contaminant disgust sensitivity predict personal space

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How far do people prefer to stand from others during interpersonal interactions? Individuals vary in what has been termed personal space, and this variation appears to be systematic. For instance, personal space tends to be larger among more introverted individuals. The present study investigated whether personality variables relevant to threat perceptions may predict personal space. One type of threat that may be neutralized via physical distancing is infectious disease. This study examined whether individual differences in pathogen-relevant disgust sensitivity (particularly with respect to other humans) may predict personal space. In a study employing a behavioral measure of personal space (N = 134), human-contaminant disgust sensitivity (but not nonhuman-contaminant disgust sensitivity) was found to predict personal space while controlling for trait anxiety and introversion. Introversion was found to exert an independent predictive effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-187
Number of pages3
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 16/03/2015

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Social Cognition


  • Behavioral immune system
  • Disease avoidance
  • Disgust
  • Introversion
  • Personal space

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