Group dynamic. The finding that a. with minimal leadership, members of a discussion group address most remarks to colleagues sitting across a conference table; b. with a strong leader, members address colleagues seated beside them; and c. where leadership is shared, no spatial effect is seen (Sommer 1967).
Usage: The Steinzor effect reveals a telling link between eye contact and dominance. We may find it difficult, e.g., to gaze directly at, or even to cross lines of sight with, a dominant individual seated nearby at the same table.
RESEARCH REPORT: "In task discussions, people direct more comments to those seated across from them in a circle or at a table, whereas in social discussions, they are more likely to talk to the person seated next to them. The presence of a directive leader may also encourage more talking to those in adjacent seats" (Burgoon et. al 1989:389).
See also ANGULAR DISTANCE, PROXEMICS.
Copyright 1998 - 2013 (David B. Givens/Center for Nonverbal Studies)