uit: abstract: Balcetis, E., & Dunning, D. (2009). Wishful Seeing: More Desired Objects Are Seen as Closer Psychological Science.
Although people assume that they see the surrounding environment as it truly is, we suggest that perception of the natural environment is dependent upon the internal goal states of perceivers. Five experiments demonstrated that perceivers tend to see desirable objects (i.e., those that can fulfill immediate goalsŚa water bottle to assuage their thirst, money they can win, a personality test providing favorable feedback) as physically closer to them than less desirable objects. Biased distance perception was revealed through verbal reports and through actions toward the object (e.g., underthrowing a beanbag at a desirable object). We suggest that seeing desirable objects as closer than less desirable objects serves the self‐regulatory function of energizing the perceiver to approach objects that fulfill needs and goals.
een uitgebreider bespreking van de studie en nog wat aanvullend materiaal:
These findings demonstrate that higher order psychological states can have a significant effect on visual perception. Specifically, they show that our desires have a direct influence on the perception of distance, such that desirable objects are perceived to be closer than they really are. This mechanism would serve to guide behaviour in the optimum way, by encouraging the perceiver to reach out and acquire the desired object. Further research into this effect is needed, however, as there are other situations in which the opposite could plausibly occur. Undesirable objects which might pose a threat - such as a venomous snake, for example - might also be perceived as being closer than they are so that one can escape quickly.