Sex is Near, Love is Far

Sex is near and love is far, logical analysis is near while “aha” creativity is far, and conventional art is near while unconventional art is far.  These results seem to confirm my suggestion that near mode emphasizes practical action, while far mode emphasizes social image.  Sex is more what we really want, while love is more how we present ourselves to get such things.  Analysis tends to be more practical, while “creativity” and unconventionality is more done to show off.  More here and here:

When in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective, which should enhance holistic thinking and thereby creative thought, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters, they focus on the present and on concrete details enhancing analytic thinking. … Two studies … found support for this hypothesis. …

Participants primed with love reported more wishes, goals, or events that related to future events compared to participants primed with sex or those in the control group …

The creative insight task … is (a) ultimately soluble, (b) likely to produce an impasse during the solution, and (3) likely to produce an “aha!” experience when the solution is discovered after prolonged efforts. An example: …

A dealer in antique coins got an offer to buy a beautiful bronze coin. The coin had an emperor’s head on one side and the date 544 B.C. stamped on the other. The dealer examined the coin, but instead of buying it, he called the police. Why? …

For the analytic thinking task, four logic problems from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) of the form “If A < B and C > B then?” … involve evaluating the truth value of a number of propositions given an initial set of basic facts. …

Participants were more likely to prefer the global figures over the local ones after having been primed with love. …. We found no effects of moods, gender, or relationship status (subsequently or jointly entered) as mediators for effects on performance. …

We recently collected data showing that thinking of a loved partner enhances global processing and further leads to pronounced halo effects (less differentiation of partner qualities), whereas local processing triggered by sex priming reduced it.

Another paper also finds far mode does better at word creativity:

The linguistic skills task gave participants unlimited time to list as many exemplars of the category ‘‘modes of transportation” as they could think of. … We derived three measures of creativity … fluency (the number of exemplars generated), flexibility (the number of distinct categories represented in the generated exemplars), and originality (the average uniqueness of the exemplars judged by independent raters). … Participants in the distant condition displayed greater fluency, were more flexible, and generated more original exemplars.

Yet another paper finds far mode minds more accepting of unconventional art:

Participants that had thought about distant events and presumably thought more abstractly were more likely to include unconventional artworks into the category of arts than participants that had thought about near events, and thus presumably thought in more concrete terms.

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