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Spatial Awareness... A hypothesis

Space... An intangible dimension which has the potential to be occupied by a body. It can be 2D/3D. To most people, whether they agree or not, it means a lot more than just some physical compartment. The surprising fact however, is that not many people realize it unless someone encroaches upon it. Even then it’s only the action of instinct and not understanding. When someone comes and sits too close to you, the degree of “too close” differs from person to person. The interesting aspect of this would be the source of this sense of personal space and the degree or its extent.To gain a better understanding, we can perhaps, speculate possibilities related to lifestyle, environment and etc. of the subject at various periods of his/her lifetime. Spending the childhood in an overpopulated area or having sufficient classroom space as a child can be guessed at as examples of influences on the degree of this personal space. Man being a social animal, the company may also matter. A boy may piggyback ride on his elder brother but this would not be the case between two close friends...the possibility of this event occurring further decreases with taking into considering classmates who are not very close in terms of friendship.Similarly, this hypothesis when extended to organisms not belonging to the same species can give us an idea on the bringing up/ learning of the organism. For example, when a rat approaches a human, the human may panic as the first idea that comes to mind relates to the word “unhygienic”. This is because it has been impressed upon the mind of the individual since childhood. On the other hand, from the rat’s point of view, it sees the human as a large animal, which in its mind gets translated into “predator”. In the rat’s case however, it is instinct and not necessarily learning which leads to this reaction.We don’t realise it but even while walking together, out of the group, the person with a higher sense of initiative tends to lead the group. All that needs to be done is to decide whether to take the next turn or continue moving ahead. The rest of the group re-adjusts itself accordingly. It wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that the one with the initiatives in the group may also be the one with the greatest awareness of his/her personal space. By maintaining this space and executing the decision of taking or not taking the turn, that individual may hold the power to divert the group. The rest of the group being, people with a lower level of consciousness. These may not necessarily be people with lower IQ or people with lesser intelligence, so to speak but, they are less aware of their surroundings.Whether or not this awareness is related to intelligence in terms of IQ can only be determined by further observation. But it definitely proves the interdependence of man in many ways in terms of influences and so on. It could also be one of the principles behind the formation of tribes, civilizations and the present-day societies. Through time, the analysis of this degree of space has increased in complexity due to the rise of caste, creeds and country affairs etc. Then there has also always been the gender and appearance factor. This complexity arises due to the tendency of man to get accustomed to patterns very quickly. The moment an individual from the opposite gender approaches, the pattern is disturbed... In a group of white people, if a black figure is seen, the pattern is broken again. Hence, it can be said that this spatial awareness is also governed by the tendency of man to get accustomed to a pattern or something that is relatively static, with respect to the individual under observation. In the case of patterns, the awareness of space increases, giving the feeling of shrinking of space or the feeling of increased occupancy by the individual of the space under scrutiny. This depends on whether the pattern is broken or sustained, respectively. For example, consider the following situation:1. In a hall, you are present and the hall only consists of people who are known to you but you are uncomfortable with. In this case, you feel your personal space shrinking. Yet, your spatial awareness is increased greatly.2. Now, in the same hall consider it being occupied by only people who you know and you are comfortable with. In this case, the extent of your personal space is much higher and will definitely overlap with the other individuals. But, at the same time, the spatial awareness is much lower.This happens as in the first case, the mind is not at ease as it does not encounter any recognisable social pattern. Hence, the activity of the mind is higher, leading to a higher spatial awareness. In the second case however, the mind is at ease as it does not have to work very hard to find any recognisable social pattern. Hence, the activity and spatial awareness is decreased.This idea of spatial awareness can be extended to many fields as it is mainly an observational study of man’s behaviour in terms of reactions. It is a method to study the factor of response to stimulus in the case of complex organisms such as man, mainly due to the involvement of society. The involvement of society helps study the social behaviour of man and has the potential for predicting outcomes of a society or such large groups populations of man if studied statistically. However, this is just a supposition and needs a lot of work, observation and scrutiny before it can be applied for any accurate or even remotely probable predictions.

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