Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of a strategic issue's temporal proximity on the identification of the issue as threatening or opportunity like. In Experiment 1, university students (N = 86) reacted to hypothetical threats or opportunities that differed in the degree to which they were immediate or delayed. Evidence was found for the asymmetrical discounting of strategic issues such that students discounted distant threats more than distant opportunities. In addition, it was found that, although immediate threats were viewed just as likely to occur as immediate opportunities, distant threats were seen as less likely to occur than distant opportunities. Experiment 2 (N = 222) showed that a manipulation of a threat's likelihood of occurring had no effect on the temporal discounting of the hypothetical threat. However, the perceived control of threats increased as temporal distance increased. This article concludes that perceived control plays an important role in the reduced plausibility of distant threats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology