Near/far thinking

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Near and far are two modes (or a spectrum of modes) in which we can think about things. We choose which mode to think about something in based on its distance from us, or on the level of detail we need. This property of human mind is studied in construal level theory.

  • NEAR: All of these bring each other more to mind: here, now, me, us; trend-deviating likely real local events; concrete, context-dependent, unstructured, detailed, goal-irrelevant incidental features; feasible safe acts; secondary local concerns; socially close folks with unstable traits.
  • FAR: Conversely, all these bring each other more to mind: there, then, them; trend-following unlikely hypothetical global events; abstract, schematic, context-freer, core, coarse, goal-related features; desirable risk-taking acts, central global symbolic concerns, confident predictions, polarized evaluations, socially distant people with stable traits.

Blog posts

By Robin Hanson

External links

See also