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The long and winding road to uncertainty: the link between spatial distance and feelings of uncertainty.

Glaser T, Lewandowski J, Düsing J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The second experiment revealed that a feeling of uncertainty leads to a perception of greater distance.By demonstrating that distance is closely tied to uncertainty, the present research extends previous research on both distance and uncertainty by incorporating previously unexplained findings within CLT.Implications of these findings such as the role of uncertainty within CLT are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Construal Level Theory (CLT) [1] defines psychological distance as any object, event, or person that cannot be experienced by the self in the here and now. The goal of the present research was to demonstrate that feelings of uncertainty are closely linked to the concept of psychological distance. Two experiments tested the assumption that spatial distance and uncertainty are bidirectionally related. In the first experiment, we show that perceived spatial distance leads to a feeling of uncertainty. The second experiment revealed that a feeling of uncertainty leads to a perception of greater distance. By demonstrating that distance is closely tied to uncertainty, the present research extends previous research on both distance and uncertainty by incorporating previously unexplained findings within CLT. Implications of these findings such as the role of uncertainty within CLT are discussed.

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Temporal sequence of the presentations in the signal detection task in Experiment 1.In the first row, a weak signal is presented in a distal location. In the second row, a strong signal is displayed in a proximal location. In the third row, the presentation times for each picture are displayed.
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pone.0119108.g002: Temporal sequence of the presentations in the signal detection task in Experiment 1.In the first row, a weak signal is presented in a distal location. In the second row, a strong signal is displayed in a proximal location. In the third row, the presentation times for each picture are displayed.

Mentions: In the signal detection task used in Experiment 1, the signals were presented on top of the 15 pictures. The position of the signals on the pictures varied. In half of the trials, the signals were presented in a position proximal to the participant, whereas in the other half of the trials the signals appeared in a position distal to the participant (see Fig. 2). Each trial began with a presentation of only the picture for 1250ms. Then an arrow appeared on the picture either in the near or far distance from the perspective of the participant. This arrow stayed on the screen for 1750 ms and served as a placeholder for the signal that then appeared within this arrow for 300ms. After 300ms, the signal was masked. As soon as the mask appeared, participants had to decide as quickly as possible whether they just saw a signal or not. Fig. 2 displays the temporal sequence of what participants saw. Each of the 15 pictures was presented four times with a signal in the near distance and four times with a signal in the far distance. This resulted in a total of 120 trials. The three different signal strengths were distributed equally over the two locations, such that each of the signal strengths appeared 20 times in the distal location and 20 times in the proximal location. The reaction times served as dependent variable.


The long and winding road to uncertainty: the link between spatial distance and feelings of uncertainty.

Glaser T, Lewandowski J, Düsing J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Temporal sequence of the presentations in the signal detection task in Experiment 1.In the first row, a weak signal is presented in a distal location. In the second row, a strong signal is displayed in a proximal location. In the third row, the presentation times for each picture are displayed.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4355588&req=5

pone.0119108.g002: Temporal sequence of the presentations in the signal detection task in Experiment 1.In the first row, a weak signal is presented in a distal location. In the second row, a strong signal is displayed in a proximal location. In the third row, the presentation times for each picture are displayed.
Mentions: In the signal detection task used in Experiment 1, the signals were presented on top of the 15 pictures. The position of the signals on the pictures varied. In half of the trials, the signals were presented in a position proximal to the participant, whereas in the other half of the trials the signals appeared in a position distal to the participant (see Fig. 2). Each trial began with a presentation of only the picture for 1250ms. Then an arrow appeared on the picture either in the near or far distance from the perspective of the participant. This arrow stayed on the screen for 1750 ms and served as a placeholder for the signal that then appeared within this arrow for 300ms. After 300ms, the signal was masked. As soon as the mask appeared, participants had to decide as quickly as possible whether they just saw a signal or not. Fig. 2 displays the temporal sequence of what participants saw. Each of the 15 pictures was presented four times with a signal in the near distance and four times with a signal in the far distance. This resulted in a total of 120 trials. The three different signal strengths were distributed equally over the two locations, such that each of the signal strengths appeared 20 times in the distal location and 20 times in the proximal location. The reaction times served as dependent variable.

Bottom Line: The second experiment revealed that a feeling of uncertainty leads to a perception of greater distance.By demonstrating that distance is closely tied to uncertainty, the present research extends previous research on both distance and uncertainty by incorporating previously unexplained findings within CLT.Implications of these findings such as the role of uncertainty within CLT are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Construal Level Theory (CLT) [1] defines psychological distance as any object, event, or person that cannot be experienced by the self in the here and now. The goal of the present research was to demonstrate that feelings of uncertainty are closely linked to the concept of psychological distance. Two experiments tested the assumption that spatial distance and uncertainty are bidirectionally related. In the first experiment, we show that perceived spatial distance leads to a feeling of uncertainty. The second experiment revealed that a feeling of uncertainty leads to a perception of greater distance. By demonstrating that distance is closely tied to uncertainty, the present research extends previous research on both distance and uncertainty by incorporating previously unexplained findings within CLT. Implications of these findings such as the role of uncertainty within CLT are discussed.

Show MeSH