How Do We Want Others to Decide?: Geographical Distance Influences Evaluations of Decision Makers

People who decide on behalf of others can be located at various geographical distances from their clients and constituents. Across five experiments, we examined the role distance plays in evaluations of these decision makers. Specifically, drawing on construal level theory, we examined how the type of information (aggregate or case-specific) that closer and more distant decision makers cited as the basis for their decisions influenced how they were evaluated. We found that people expressed more anger toward (Experiment 1) and were less enthusiastic about (Experiments 2 and 4) more distant decision makers who relied on case-specific (vs. aggregate) information. In addition, we found that people were less enthusiastic about decision makers who relied on case-specific (vs. aggregate) information when evaluators were in a higher-level (vs. lower-level) construal mind-set (Experiments 3 and 5). Implications for how decision makers can manage impressions are discussed.

Reference Information

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Method(s) Used in Paper

How vs. Why Mindset Manipulation

by Antonio Freitas, Peter Gollwitzer, and Yaacov Trope.
Published in "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology" in 2004.

APA-Format Citation

Burgoon, E. M., Henderson, M. D., & Wakslak, C. J. (2013). How do we want others to decide? Geographical distance influences evaluations of decision makers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(6), 826-838.