Automatic Processing of Psychological Distance

Evidence From a Stroop Task

Yoav Bar-Anan, Nira Liberman, Yaacov Trope, Daniel Algom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A picture-word version of the Stroop task was used to test the automatic activation of psychological distance by words carrying various senses of psychological distance: temporal (tomorrow, in a year), social (friend, enemy), and hypotheticality (sure, maybe). The pictures implied depth, with the words appearing relatively close to or distant from the observer. The participants classified the spatial distance of words faster when the word's implicit psychological distance matched its spatial distance (e.g., a geographically close word was classified faster when it was "friend" than when it was "enemy"). The findings are consistent with the idea that psychological distance is accessed automatically, even when it is not directly related to people's current goals, and suggest that psychological distance is an important dimension of meaning, common to spatial distance, temporal distance, social distance, and hypotheticality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-622
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume136
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

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Psychology
Social Distance

Keywords

  • automatic activation
  • construal level
  • picture-word Stroop paradigm
  • psychological distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Automatic Processing of Psychological Distance : Evidence From a Stroop Task. / Bar-Anan, Yoav; Liberman, Nira; Trope, Yaacov; Algom, Daniel.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 136, No. 4, 11.2007, p. 610-622.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bar-Anan, Yoav ; Liberman, Nira ; Trope, Yaacov ; Algom, Daniel. / Automatic Processing of Psychological Distance : Evidence From a Stroop Task. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2007 ; Vol. 136, No. 4. pp. 610-622.
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