The iPod Society

The iPod Society

Psychologist Dr Ana Tajadura-Jimenez and her University of London colleagues confirm what you commuters already know: a personal music player protects you in the a crowded bus or subway car.

“Positive music played over headphones (but not speakers) had the effect of shrinking the participants’ sense of personal space, so that the approaching experimenter could walk closer to them before they (the participant) felt uncomfortable. On the other hand, negative music played over speakers (but not headphones) expanded the participants’ personal space, so they felt uncomfortable when the approaching experimenter was further away. These effects were most pronounced in the participants who afterwards reported that they’d been affected emotionally by the music to a greater degree. Music made no difference to the participants’ sense of personal space when they were the ones walking towards the experimenter. “

“How listening to an iPod shrinks your sense of personal space,” Christian Jarrett, Research Blogging

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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One Response to “The iPod Society”

  1. Mike Licht Says:


    Listening Spaces: Project Exploring How We Interact With Music From Technological, Social and Personal Perspectives

    A project of The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University

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