Does close distance increase liking for a social object? In a preliminary sociogram task, an association between proximity and intimacy was found in drawings of self and others. In three experimental studies, male participants consistently preferred female targets who were (actually or appeared to be) close than far from them. Distance was manipulated through various means—sitting distance (Study 2), presenting two facial images separately to each eye by a stereoscopic device (Study 3), or a video clip (Study 4). This effect was stronger among those with deprived social needs and occurred in part because close (vs. far) targets seemed psychologically more accessible to the perceiver. Our findings offer rare experimental evidence for the empirically challenged propinquity effect and provide new insights on how distance shapes inner experience.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology