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The unwritten rules of proxemics

A fascinating article in NYT talks about role of personal space and its implications;

“Communications scholars began studying personal space and people’s perception of it decades ago, in a field known as proxemics. But with the population in the United States climbing above 300 million, urban corridors becoming denser and people with wealth searching for new ways to separate themselves from the masses, interest in the issue of personal space — that invisible force field around your body — is intensifying….

But whether people have become more protective of their personal space is difficult to say. Studies show people tend to adapt, even in cities, which are likely to grow ever more crowded based on population projections.

Yet studies involving airlines show the desire to have some space to oneself is among the top passenger requests. In a survey in April from TripAdvisor, a travel Web site, travelers said that if they had to pay for certain amenities, they would rather have larger seats and more legroom than massages and premium food. And a current advertisement for Eos Airlines, which flies between New York and London, is promoting the fact that it offers passengers “21 square feet of personal space.”

While people may crave space, they rarely realize how entrenched proxemics are. Scholars can predict which areas of an elevator are likely to fill up first and which urinal a man will choose. They know people will stare at the lighted floor numbers in elevators, not one another...

They know commuters will hold newspapers in front of them to read, yes, but also to shield themselves from strangers. And they know college students will unconsciously choose to sit in the same row, if not the same seat, each class.

If you videotape people at a library table, it’s very clear what seat somebody will take,” Dr. Archer said, adding that one of the corner seats will go first, followed by the chair diagonally opposite because that is farthest away. “If you break those rules, it’s fascinating,” he said. “People will pile up books as if to make a wall — glare.”

Translation, Please


At T&B, we don't get many foreign language Google Ads:


Can anyone provide a translation?

Today's Funny Video

Go Daddy Hearings with slight wardrobe malfunction.

Auto Makers Should Advertise on Blogs


Two years ago, 10 percent of my advertising budget had an online component,...Today it’s 30 percent. Two years from now, it will be 50 percent. And overall budgets are not growing. It’s coming at the expense of television and print.”

- CMO of a U.S. auto company (cited in The Future of Advertising Is Now, an article from the latest edition of the magazine Strategy + Business, registration required)


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