Feeling Close: the Emotional Nature of Psychological Distance

We hypothesize that psychological distance is emotional in nature. In four experiments, people reported less psychological distance to events about which they felt more rather than less intensely, including savored and dreaded events, past and future dentist visits, and embarrassing public performances. This negative correlation between emotionality and psychological distance was statistically mediated by reported emotional intensity, and emerged both when people’s emotions were manipulated directly (through explicit instruction) and indirectly (through assignment to roles of actors or observers). The negative correlation between emotional intensity and psychological distance was eliminated when people were provided an alternative explanation for their feelings.


Leaf Van Boven, Joanne Kane, A. Peter McGraw, and Jeannette Dale (2009) ,"Feeling Close: the Emotional Nature of Psychological Distance", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 161-164.


Leaf Van Boven, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Joanne Kane, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
A. Peter McGraw, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Jeannette Dale, Denver, Colorado, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

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