Differences in office-based personal space perception between British and Korean populations

Mike Richardson, Crescent Jicol, Gerald Taulo, Jaehyun Park, Hyun K. Kim, Michael Proulx, Alexandra A de Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We sought to understand how the perception of personal space is influenced by different levels of social density, spatial density, and type of window-view in South Korean and United Kingdom workplaces. We employed virtual reality to simulate shared and single occupancy offices. We obtained personal space estimations using a virtual disc around the participant which could be extended and retracted, inside the simulation, to indicate perceived amount of personal space, and compared this measure to questionnaire-based estimations. We found that in both cultures participants experienced greater perceived personal space (1) when in a sparse rather than dense office and (2) having a view of the city outside the office. However, British, but not Korean, participants had significantly higher personal space estimations in single occupancy offices than in shared offices. These results suggest subtle cross-cultural differences in workplace experience, that could only be investigated using virtual reality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1043088
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023


  • culture
  • personal space
  • spatial cognition
  • virtual reality
  • workplace density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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