When biological energy is scarce, environments appear more extreme (Proffitt, 2006). Does psychological energy similarly influence perceptions of the environment? In two studies, the authors tested whether psychoenergetic resources influence distance perception in ways akin to bioenergetic resources. In Study 1, psychological energization influenced distance perception in the same way as biological energization; when people felt energized, either biologically or psychologically, distances appeared shorter compared to when they were less energized. Study 2 used a placebo paradigm to manipulate psychoenergetic resources. Participants who believed they drank energizing, rather than calming, tea perceived a distance as shorter. Across two studies, psychological energy increased perceived proximity. The authors discuss implications for the dynamic and reciprocal relationships among energy, perception, and action.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology