Replication of Experiments Evaluating Impact of Psychological Distance on Moral Judgment

2014 ◽  
Vol 45 (3) ◽  
pp. 223-231 ◽  
Author(s):  
Iris L. Žeželj ◽  
Biljana R. Jokić

Eyal, Liberman, and Trope (2008) established that people judged moral transgressions more harshly and virtuous acts more positively when the acts were psychologically distant than close. In a series of conceptual and direct replications, Gong and Medin (2012) came to the opposite conclusion. Attempting to resolve these inconsistencies, we conducted four high-powered replication studies in which we varied temporal distance (Studies 1 and 3), social distance (Study 2) or construal level (Study 4), and registered their impact on moral judgment. We found no systematic effect of temporal distance, the effect of social distance consistent with Eyal et al., and the reversed effect of direct construal level manipulation, consistent with Gong and Medin. Possible explanations for the incompatible results are discussed.

2014 ◽  
Vol 45 (4) ◽  
pp. 327-334 ◽  
Author(s):  
Han Gong ◽  
Douglas L. Medin ◽  
Tal Eyal ◽  
Nira Liberman ◽  
Yaacov Trope ◽  
...  

In the hope to resolve the two sets of opposing results concerning the effects of psychological distance and construal levels on moral judgment, Žeželj and Jokić (2014) conducted a series of four direct replications, which yielded divergent patterns of results. In our commentary, we first revisit the consistent findings that lower-level construals induced by How/Why manipulation lead to harsher moral condemnation than higher-level construals. We then speculate on the puzzling patterns of results regarding the role of temporal distance in shaping moral judgment. And we conclude by discussing the complexity of morality and propose that it may be important to incorporate cultural systems into the study of moral cognition.


2019 ◽  
Author(s):  
Oliver Genschow ◽  
Jochim Hansen ◽  
Michaela Wänke ◽  
Yaacov Trope

In past research on imitation, some findings suggest that imitation is goal based, whereas other findings suggest that imitation can also be based on a direct mapping of a model’s movements without necessarily adopting the model’s goal. We argue that the two forms of imitation are flexibly deployed in accordance with the psychological distance from the model. We specifically hypothesize that individuals are relatively more likely to imitate the model’s goals when s/he is distant but relatively more likely to imitate the model’s specific movements when s/he is proximal. This hypothesis was tested in four experiments using different imitation paradigms and different distance manipulations. Experiment 1 served as a pilot study and demonstrated that temporal distance (vs. proximity) increased imitation of a goal relative to the imitation of a movement. Experiments 2 and 3 measured goal-based and movement-based imitation independently of each other and found that spatial distance (vs. proximity) decreased the rate of goal errors (indicating more goal imitation) compared to movement errors. Experiment 4 demonstrated that psychological distance operates most likely at the input—that is, perceptual—level. The findings are discussed in relation to construal level theory and extant theories of imitation.


2018 ◽  
Author(s):  
Daniel Yudkin

Agents must sometimes decide whether to exploit a known resource or search for potentially more profitable options. Here, we investigate the role of psychological distancing in promoting exploratory behavior. We argue that exploration dilemmas pit the value of a reward (“desirability”) against the difficulty or uncertainty of obtaining it (“feasibility”). Based on construal level theory, which suggests that psychological distance increases the importance of rewards’ desirability (versus feasibility), we expect that psychological distance will increase exploration. Two pretests and three experiments support this prediction. Pretests A and B confirm that exploration dilemmas conform to the feasibility/desirability decision structure. In Experiment 1, participants who were prompted to consider an exploration game from a physically distanced perspective were more likely to leave a local maximum in search of a global maximum. Experiments 2 and 3 show that social distance has similar results. Experiment 4 finds evidence of a direct association between construal mindset and exploration. Overall, this research highlights how psychological distancing strategies can promote exploration.


2021 ◽  
pp. 194855062110440
Author(s):  
Ramzi Fatfouta ◽  
Yaacov Trope

Mask wearing plays a vital role in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite its ubiquity in everyday social life, it is still unknown how masked faces are mentally represented. Drawing on construal-level theory, we test the hypothesis that masked faces and unmasked faces are implicitly associated with psychological distance and proximity in memory, respectively. Four preregistered, high-powered experiments ( N = 354 adults) using the Implicit Association Test lend convergent support to this hypothesis across all four dimensions of psychological distance: social distance, spatial distance, temporal distance, and hypothetical distance. A mini meta-analysis validates the reliability of the findings (Hedge’s g = 0.46). The present work contributes to the growing literature on construal-level effects on implicit social cognition and enriches the current discussion on mask wearing in the pandemic and beyond.


2014 ◽  
Vol 42 (1) ◽  
pp. 69-78 ◽  
Author(s):  
Wei Zhang ◽  
Gui-Bing He ◽  
Yue Zhu ◽  
Long Cheng

We conducted 2 studies to investigate the role of psychological distance in the assessment of degree of severity of water pollution. In Study 1, 132 participants evaluated the severity of water pollution with 3 dimensions of psychological distance, that is, temporal, social, and probability, each comprising 3 levels. Results showed that temporal distance did not have a significant influence on the assessment of the severity of water pollution, whereas probability and social distance did. In Study 2, 146 participants evaluated the severity of water pollution in three 2 × 2 designs and one 2 × 2 × 2 design. Results demonstrated that, when the 3 psychological distances coexisted, the main effect of probability distance on severity assessment was significant, but neither temporal nor social distance had a significant effect.


2013 ◽  
Vol 41 (7) ◽  
pp. 1219-1224 ◽  
Author(s):  
Sunghun Chung ◽  
Jooyoung Park

Based on construal level theory and subadditivity effect, in this study we examined the joint impacts of multiple dimensions of psychological distance (i.e., social and temporal distance) on consumer evaluations of a company in which the behavior was ambivalent in terms of morality or competence. The findings indicated that consumers perceiving the company as both socially and temporally close evaluated it more favorably when ambivalence concerned morality. However, when 1 or more dimensions of psychological distance extended, consumers tended to evaluate the company more favorably when the source of ambivalence concerned competence. These findings suggest that consumer evaluations of a company are influenced by not only which aspect of company behavior is ambivalent, but also by whether or not it is a single dimension or multiple dimensions of psychological distance being considered. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.


2018 ◽  
Vol 45 (6) ◽  
pp. 893-906 ◽  
Author(s):  
Daniel A. Yudkin ◽  
Rotem Pick ◽  
Elina Yewon Hur ◽  
Nira Liberman ◽  
Yaacov Trope

Agents must sometimes decide whether to exploit a known resource or search for potentially more profitable options. Here, we investigate the role of psychological distancing in promoting exploratory behavior. We argue that exploration dilemmas pit the value of a reward (“desirability”) against the difficulty or uncertainty of obtaining it (“feasibility”). Based on construal level theory, which suggests that psychological distance increases the importance of rewards’ desirability (vs. feasibility), we expect that psychological distance will increase exploration. Four experiments support this prediction. In Experiment 1, participants who were prompted to consider an exploration game from a physically distanced perspective were more likely to leave a local maximum in search of a global maximum. Experiments 2 and 3 show that social distance has similar results. Experiment 4 finds evidence of a direct association between construal mind-set and exploration. Overall, this research highlights how psychological distancing strategies can promote exploration.


2015 ◽  
Vol 27 (1) ◽  
pp. 137-180 ◽  
Author(s):  
Martin M. Weisner

ABSTRACT This study reviews extant literature on construal level theory (CLT) of psychological distance (Liberman and Trope 1998; Trope and Liberman 2003). According to CLT, the concept of psychological distance constitutes a common meaning shared by four interrelated dimensions: temporal distance, social distance, spatial distance, and hypotheticality. The core premise is that psychological distance is tied to the level of mental construal (i.e., mental representation), such that more distant objects (or situations) are construed at a higher level and higher-level construals evoke thoughts of more distant objects (Trope and Liberman 2010). CLT further suggests that mental construals influence evaluation, prediction, and behavior (Trope, Liberman, and Wakslak 2007). In spite of the fact that CLT is considered a prominent contemporary theory and comprehensive framework for judgment and decision-making, behavioral accounting research, with few exceptions, has largely ignored the theory's predictions and insights. However, as accounting, auditing, and business in general become increasingly global and geographically dispersed, the perspectives provided by CLT should no longer be ignored. This study aims at illustrating CLT's potential for investigating hitherto unexplained phenomena within the accounting domain and argues that CLT provides the potential for a superior understanding of the heuristics and biases in judgment and decision-making that are associated with distance-affected decision environments. The paper reviews the findings reported in 88 articles (and one book chapter) with an emphasis on publications that apply CLT in contexts that are of particular interest to accounting researchers. CLT's underlying theoretical logic, its commonalities, and its differences with related theories and models are explained through a detailed review of the insights gained from basic CLT research. Commonly applied methods associated with experimental manipulations are highlighted, and broad, CLT-based research questions pertaining to various accounting domains are offered.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Guy Grinfeld ◽  
Cheryl Jan Wakslak ◽  
Yaacov Trope ◽  
Nira Liberman

Construal level theory suggests that less likely, more distant counterfactual events and actions will be represented more abstractly. However, the effect of hypotheticality on level of construal has been studied less than the effect of other dimensions of psychological distance (time, space, social distance) and recently did not replicate in two experiments (Calderon et al. 2020). Two sets of pre-registered studies attempted to close this empirical gap. In the first set, participants described more and less likely events in their life. Participants rated the mental representations of the less likely, more distant counterfactual events as being less clear and detailed. Text analysis revealed also that the descriptions of those events were less concrete. In the second set of studies, participants completed the Behavioral Identification Form, in which they chose between abstract and concrete descriptions of actions. Participants preferred to describe actions that were only a hypothetical possibility by their abstract means and actions that were actually performed by their concrete means, whether hypotheticality was manipulated within- or between-participants. We discuss potential difficulties of manipulating hypotheticality and suggest how to overcome them. We address, more generally, the nature of hypotheticality and how it is both similar to and different from other psychological distances.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Ramzi Fatfouta ◽  
Yaacov Trope

Mask wearing plays a vital role in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite its ubiquity in everyday social life, it is still unknown how masked faces are mentally represented. Drawing on construal level theory, we test the hypothesis that masked faces and unmasked faces are implicitly associated with psychological distance and proximity in memory, respectively. Four fully preregistered, high-powered experiments (N = 354 adults) using the Implicit Association Test lend convergent support to this hypothesis across all four dimensions of psychological distance: Social distance, spatial distance, temporal distance, and hypothetical distance. A mini meta-analysis validates the reliability of the findings (Hedge’s g = 0.46). The present work provides novel and valuable evidence on the psychological effects of mask wearing, which will be crucial for ongoing political debates and public-health efforts regarding this public health measure.


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