Should You Approach Your Audience When Giving a Talk? Maybe Not

People feel better about objects and people–whether positive, negative, or neutral–that are seen to be receding rather than approaching, says a team led by Christopher K. Hsee and Yanping Tu of the University of Chicago. For example, research participants viewed a neutral-looking person in a video more positively when he was walking backward away from the camera than when he was walking toward it (3.67 versus 2.70 on a seven-point scale). Approach aversion, which also applies to events in time, may have an evolutionary basis: Humans have developed a tendency to be on guard against stimuli that are approaching, the researchers say.

SOURCE: Approach Aversion: Negative Hedonic Reactions Toward Approaching Stimuli

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