Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Advice proximity effect:

The Advice proximity effect:

I am sure that there are several instances where you have been given unwanted advice by several people. Some advices that helped you and some that made your day worse were given to you anyway, but you might not have seen a pattern underlying that effect, and here i wish to convey to you how proximigy affects advice.

However I am now going to show you what I mean by the advice proximity effect.

Suppose you are sitting with a group of people with chairs kept row wise and the guy sitting next to you is going to advice you (~_^).This is a very good distance to maintain when someone advices you.

First of all, you will be very close to the person who is advising you, so he thinks that, most of whatever he is telling you is getting in pretty well and does not tend to repeat any of his point.

However, suppose you have a chair’s gap between the two of you. At this point the distance has increased. So you are really in a situation where the one advising you thinks that he needs to stress on a particular point, because he thinks that you are not receiving the advice properly. And hence tends to repeat a certain point over and over making you not able to concentrate on what he is telling you, thus reducing your concentration.

This effect tends to increase over distance. And has different effect on people of different gender, age, posture & height.

Gender: For people of the same gender this law always holds. However for people of different gender, the proximity is dependent on how well the two of them know each other, the reason the person is giving the advice. The situation in which the person is giving the advice, the time of the day, humidity, introvert/extrovert, number of people in the room, direction of wind (^_^), presence/absence of decorative objects on the face, contraction/dilation of the pupil of the eye, eye contact, lip movement and factors such as previous encounters between the two people.

The above list is exclusive however it is not exhaustive; there can be several other factors such as presence of parents/friends/relatives/teachers/neighbours/kids in the vicinity. The reason the two are sitting next to each other. The colour of the room etc...

Age: Age difference between the two people plays a colossal role in deciding the outcome of the effect. If it is an elder person giving an advice to a younger person, then the younger person will probably delve more into taking this effect because of the respect he has for the elder person, and assuming that the elder person has a lot more experience/expertise in that field.

However when a younger person tries to advice an elder person the advice is not taken in most cases because he is treated as an amateur. Older people tend to have a lot more ego as they feel insecure when people don’t respect them just because they expect them to. Older people tend to treat younger people like they don’t have any experience at all.

Age related Advice proximity effects can be controversial because it depends on the society, the culture and attitude of the people in the locality. So this might not be an ideal guide. However you have to keep the effect in mind.

Posture: When people feel the need to advice you, they don’t usually care about your posture; however if you need to advise someone make sure that your neck/head/face or whatever is above theirs. If the person you want to advice is sitting, then make sure you stand to gain the effectiveness of the advice.

Politicians take good advantage of this parameter. A politician’s stage is usually kept well above the neck of the people to ensure that they oblige to whatever he says.

Teachers take advantage of this situation and tend to scold you if you sitting when she is giving you the advice, because in this scenario, she has the advantage of age as well as posture. So please do stand when the teacher addresses you, because a standing person gains the advantage of posture and height which I am going to discuss next.

In some scenarios additional parameters also effect like those discussed in gender.

Height: Believe it or not, height matters when giving or taking an advice. Among the people of same age group, the advice of the taller one is considered a good approach because he tends to appear to be older. Even if not because of the appearance, a taller person is over-estimated in most of the cases.

Tall people are considered wise, mature, intelligent and reliable for reasons I am yet to find out. Though this effect plays a very strong first impression, it will die out unless the taller person realizes that he has to give effective advices inorder to keep it this way.

Height can play a good role in overcoming the age affect of the AP effect (-_-).

·         Distance between two people is affected by the distance between them.
·         Factors like gender age and height decide the acceptance of an advice.

Despite the above discussion, an advice is truly valued on the past effectiveness of an advice. Only advice another person if he begs for it or his life depends on it. Or else your advice will not be valued. People tend to neglect anything that they get for free.

Yes its a totally different story if you are a well established person, who has achieved something worthwhile in life and is advising others.

If you go on advising every single guy, every now and then. You will tend to get neglected for whatever you say in the future. People will try to repel you and you will lose your confidence in facing people.

Ever since I realized the presence of this effect I have always tried to maintain a good proximity with the person giving me the advice and it has worked really well. But I would like your help in establishing the true extent/relevance of this effect.


  1. Oi macha nice one da .. the first blog that i ever read completely :) great work

  2. WOW, its an honour that you have read my blog

  3. Hey like the Pics macha

  4. the pics are straight from google image results :P

  5. good observation.

  6. yeah nice choice of pics. the fact they come from google results don't matter

  7. how can you know it comes from google results? I mean google may have found them after this site creation

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  9. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
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