Cover: Psychosocial Resources, Threat, and the Perception of Distance and Height

Psychosocial Resources, Threat, and the Perception of Distance and Height

Support for the Resources and Perception Model

Published in: Emotion, v. 11, no. 5, Oct. 2011, p. 1080-1090

by Kent D Harber, Douglas Yeung, Anthony Iacovelli

Read More

Access further information on this document at Emotion

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Abstract

Threatening things are often perceptually exaggerated, such that they appear higher, closer, of greater duration, or more intense than they actually are. According to the Resources and Perception Model (RPM) psychosocial resources can prevent this exaggeration, leading to more accurate perception. Two studies tested RPM. Study 1 showed that the perceived closeness of a threatening object (a live tarantula) but not an innocuous object (a cat toy) was moderated by induced self-worth. Further, the more self-worth that participants experienced, the less close the tarantula appeared to them. Study 2 showed that greater levels of self-esteem reduced perceived height, but only among participants prevented from holding a protective handrail while looking down. Together, these studies confirm that resources moderate the physical perception of both distance and height, that resources moderate perception of threats but not nonthreats, that different resources have similar moderating effects, and that psychosocial resources can supplant physical resources..

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.