Effects of multiple psychological distances on consumer evaluation: A field study of online reviews

Ni Huang, Gordon Burtch, Yili Hong, Evan Polman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Through a large-scale field study of 166,215 online restaurant reviews, we found evidence of a distance boosting effect, whereby experiencing spatial distance (i.e., authoring a review about a geographically distant restaurant, rather than proximate one) and temporal distance (i.e., authoring a review after a lengthy delay, rather than immediately) jointly affect review positivity by amplifying consumers' high-level construals. Although past research has explored the relationship between psychological distance, construal and consumer evaluation, the effects of various dimensions of distance have only been considered in isolation. Our research contributes to past work by testing the effects of experiencing two dimensions of psychological distance simultaneously on construal and consumer evaluations. Moreover, because our data contain naturalistic observations, our research includes a wide range of temporal and spatial distances. We found that the effect of one distance increases the effect of the other. Metaphorically speaking, the effect of one distance is boosted by another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 27 2014


  • Construal level theory
  • Consumer evaluation
  • Online reviews
  • Psychological distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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