Table 3.

Ideal and slightly uncomfortable distances (cm) as measured for pair-bonded participants in the physical presence of a female (Experiment 1) and male (control experiment) experimenter

Female experimenterMale experimenter
OXT (n = 14)PLC (n = 16)OXT (n = 15)PLC (n = 14)
Ideal distance
    Experimenter moves
        Far (EC)70.41 (9.41)55.90 (10.01)64.27 (9.66)60.94 (10.46)
        Far (NEC)67.96 (9.93)54.11 (8.66)63.28 (9.80)58.95 (10.00)
        Close (EC)68.40 (7.31)57.56 (10.02)72.16 (7.55)64.54 (10.86)
        Close (NEC)68.16 (7.25)55.82 (8.88)72.34 (7.66)65.20 (10.50)
    Participant moves
        Far (EC)69.43 (12.41)54.52 (11.65)66.13 (10.09)60.33 (11.26)
        Far (NEC)68.86 (12.06)55.56 (11.71)64.96 (9.59)60.45 (11.75)
        Close (EC)78.41 (15.13)61.27 (11.03)71.07 (10.24)64.47 (9.84)
        Close (NEC)79.31 (14.11)60.56 (10.84)71.00 (10.79)65.02 (10.95)
Uncomfortable distance
    Experimenter moves
        Far (EC)44.40 (5.44)37.47 (4.38)38.82 (4.18)37.75 (5.26)
        Far (NEC)42.78 (5.64)36.75 (5.61)37.84 (4.64)38.05 (5.41)
    Participant moves
        Far (EC)43.01 (10.58)36.18 (6.02)37.94 (5.47)37.02 (6.66)
        Far (NEC)43.74 (10.52)37.92 (6.59)39.26 (5.61)37.85 (6.53)
  • Overall, OXT significantly enlarged social distance (across all conditions) in the physical presence of a female experimenter (p < 0.01), but not of a male experimenter (p = 0.11). Given are mean values (SD). EC, Eye contact; NEC, no eye contact.