Darling, Get Closer to Me: Spatial Proximity Amplifies Interpersonal Liking

Ji Eun Shin, Eunkook M. Suh, Norman P. Li, Kangyong Eo, Sang Chul Chong, Ming Hong Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Does close distance increase liking for a social object? In a preliminary sociogram task, an association between proximity and intimacy was found in drawings of self and others. In three experimental studies, male participants consistently preferred female targets who were (actually or appeared to be) close than far from them. Distance was manipulated through various means—sitting distance (Study 2), presenting two facial images separately to each eye by a stereoscopic device (Study 3), or a video clip (Study 4). This effect was stronger among those with deprived social needs and occurred in part because close (vs. far) targets seemed psychologically more accessible to the perceiver. Our findings offer rare experimental evidence for the empirically challenged propinquity effect and provide new insights on how distance shapes inner experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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