Psychological Distance and Fox News

When we experience something it is, in that very second, there and then gone. The experience may linger but the psychological distance begins to widen as time passes. We experience events, trauma and even people in the moment and then later in our memory. The further away from now, the larger the distance psychologically. All reality is subjective but, depending on our experience of it and the interpretation we give that reality, we feel closer or farther away from it. Anything not happening right now is but a subjective mental picture we define. That is some heady stuff, right? So smart, in fact, that I wonder what gave the dipshits at Fox’s Outnumbered the audacity to try to discuss it.

River Song

PhD, sexy, and has a smart hubby. Just sayin’

Outnumbered did a quick segment on an article that will be published in next month’s “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin”. The article entitled, “(Psychological) Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Effects of Psychological Distance and Relative Intelligence on Men’s Attraction to Women” by Park, Young and Eastwick (2015), details the results of 6 studies conducted to research the effects of psychological distance on interpersonal attraction. The researchers hypothesized that when there is psychological distance, a person may be more attracted to people who possess better traits and outperform them. And, when faced with the ‘target’ of the attraction, situational cues take over like how the person made them feel. The results showed just that- if the guy felt she was far away, he liked her even if she was smarter than him. Whereas the guys who met the woman who outperformed him, did not show any attraction to her.

So, how does this novel research catch the eye of Fox’s Outnumbered? How does this really nice piece of research that provided some good results from which to continue the study of Psychological Distance, construal-level theory and the self-evaluation maintenance model, show up on a show where it’s set up is “Featuring an ensemble of four female panelists and #OneLuckyGuy, we’ll tackle top headlines from all angles and perspectives” (seriously, that is how they describe the show)? Easy, they take this nice research and make it a feminist rant. Yup, these Mensa rejects decided that this research was conducted by a female with an ax to grind and maybe too many cats (yes, Kennedy, you said that) that can’t get a date because she has a PhD.

I don’t know what to be angry about here. I feel a proximity to the issues of really smart women and men rejecting them because they are too big for their britches’ argument but listening to women refer to smart women as having cats and being pissed off at men who won’t date them, that one is really setting me off. Here is the bottom line to all of the Outnumbered women who thought this was a great opportunity to bash women researchers as a joke or a chance to get a soundbite out there, shame on you! You know nothing about the researchers- one of whom is a man, by the way. This is not feminism fodder for your BS crusade against the horrors of equality.

What these women can’t see is that they are shills for the man who can see that having women say that feminism is for ugly girls who are too smart for their own good and have cats. Well, I ain’t ugly. I am way smart and I happen to be allergic to cats. And yes, Kennedy, I am a feminist.

But again, as a feminist, I will support you and will continue to fight for women like yourself who think feminism had nothing to do with you being on TV. However, I beseech you to not knock the researchers out there. They are doing some important work that will change the world. And please do not assume that they are lonely, either. Unlike not so smart women who are attractive to 18 year old boys, women with PhDs attract men who are wickedly smart, as well.

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