The Psychology of Psychic Distance: Antecedents of Asymmetric Perceptions

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Already on its introduction into the international business literature, the concept of ‘psychic distance’ implied asymmetry in the distance perceptions between country pairs, a characteristic corroborated in subsequent empirical studies. However, predominant empirical operationalizations and their theoretical underpinnings assume psychic distances to be symmetric. Building on insights from psychology and sociology, this paper demonstrates how national factors and cognitive processes interact in the formation of asymmetric distance perceptions. The results suggest that exposure to other countries through emigrants and imports of cultural goods and services have asymmetric effects on psychic distance perceptions. The size of these effects appears to vary with the size of the home country – smaller countries tend, on average, to perceive psychic distances to the rest of the world as smaller than do bigger ones. The reputational status of target countries relative to that of the home country is found to have a non-linear, asymmetric effect on distance perceptions.

Authors Håkanson, Lars; Ambos, Björn; Schuster, Anja & Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich
Journal or Publication Title Journal of World Business
Language English
Subjects business studies
Refereed Yes
Date February 2016
Publisher Elsevier Science
Volume 51
Number 2
Page Range 308-318
ISSN 1090-9516
Depositing User Leonie Rogenhofer
Date Deposited 07 Jan 2019 16:33
Last Modified 28 Sep 2021 00:24
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/256250

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Citation

Håkanson, Lars; Ambos, Björn; Schuster, Anja & Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich (2016) The Psychology of Psychic Distance: Antecedents of Asymmetric Perceptions. Journal of World Business, 51 (2). 308-318. ISSN 1090-9516

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/256250
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