Relationships among self-construal, gender, social dominance orientation, and interpersonal distance
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CitationPeker, M., Booth, R. W., & Eke, A. (April 26, 2018). Relationships among self-construal, gender, social dominance orientation, and interpersonal distance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 48, 9, 494-505.
The present research focuses on the cognitive embodiment of physical proximity, through interpersonal distance’s relationship with self‐construal, gender, and social dominance orientation. Previous work showed that more independent self‐construal was associated with higher distancing preferences of participants, and that females tend to have higher interdependent self‐construal that lead them to prefer less interpersonal distance. We expected to replicate these findings. However, due to the relationship between power and interpersonal distance, it was argued that gender and perceptions regarding the social hierarchy would also play a role in predicting interpersonal distance. More specifically, it was predicted that while females who accept social hierarchies between males and females would prefer more distance when interacting with males, males would not differ in their preference for social distance.One hundred participants (67 female) completed the Comfortable Interpersonal Distance Scale, Independent and Interdependent Self‐Construal Scales and the Social Dominance Orientation Scale. Interdependent self‐construal was negatively correlated with overall preferred interpersonal distance. Moreover, females high on social dominance orientation preferred larger interpersonal distance from male adult strangers than from female adult strangers. The findings provide further support for the embodiment of self‐construal by showing that psychological closeness and heteronomy are related to physical closeness. The findings also highlight the importance of investigating communal sharing and authority ranking dimensions simultaneously when focusing on interpersonal distance as well as differentiating females’ interpersonal sensitivity due to low power with their high affiliation.