Previous findings regarding the relationship between emotional valence and psychological distance were mixed. The current research examined whether emotional intensity moderates the influence of emotional valence on psychological distance. We manipulated intensity and valence by asking participants to describe a positive or negative event from either a high intensity or low intensity perspective. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that negative events were perceived to be more distant than positive events in the low‐intensity condition in two distinct cultural groups. Study 3 further proved that the obtained patterns were generalizable to different emotions. Finally, Study 4 found that a reduced alert level, but not perceived threats, mediated the interactive effects of valence and intensity on psychological distance. This research highlights the importance of considering the joint effect of different dimensions of emotion, thus advancing the understanding of complex processes of emotion. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
CitationMei, D., Li, L. M. W., & Wang, Y. (2018). Influence of emotional valence on perceived psychological distance depends on emotional intensity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48(5), 687-700. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2361
- Psychological distance