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Movement direction or change in distance? Self- and object-related approach-avoidance motions


Seibt, Beate; Neumann, Roland; Nussinson, Ravit; Strack, Fritz


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Abstract Based on the conceptualization of approach as a decrease in distance and avoidance as an increase in distance, we predicted that stimuli with positive valence facilitate behavior for either approaching the stimulus (object as reference point) or for bringing the stimulus closer (self as reference point) and that stimuli with negative valence facilitate behavior for withdrawing from the stimulus or for pushing the stimulus away. In Study 1, we found that motions to and from a computer screen where positive and negative words were presented lead to compatibility effects indicative of an object-related frame of reference. In Study 2, we replicated this finding using social stimuli with different evaluative associations (young vs. old persons). Finally, we present evidence that self vs. object reference points can be induced through instruction and thus lead to opposite compatibility effects even when participants make the same objective motion (Study 3).
Klassifikation Sozialpsychologie
Freie Schlagwörter Approach and avoidance behavior; Prejudice; Implicit measures; Compatibility effects
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2008
Seitenangabe S. 713-720
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (2008) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.04.013
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)