User voted 1.
0 votes
May 5, 2016

I sincerely don't care.

Am i selfish? Yes
Is this bad? Probably
But does i care? No

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2 votes,
May 12, 2016

Interestingly - and seemingly on an entirely different subject - a recurring explanation in the media (or at least in my country) for the tendency to "not care" or respond indifferently for victims of terrorism in Middle-Eastern countries, as opposed to expressing outrage on the behalf of victims in European cities like Paris and Bruxelles, is the so-called Construal Level Theory.

This theory states that "the more distant an object is from the individual, the more abstract it will be thought of, while the closer the object is, the more concretely it will be thought of."[1] Theoretically, this psychological distance is supposed to be roughly typified by temporal, spatial, social and hypothetical properties.[2]

  1. temporal distance (distance in time) -> "you're prone to care more about something if it's in the near future"
  2. spatial distances (distance in physical space) -> "you're prone to care more if it's closer to home"
  3. social distances (interpersonal distances, such as distance between two different groups or two dissimilar people) -> "you're prone to care more if the ones affected are more like you"
  4. hypothetical distances (imagining that an event is likely or unlikely) -> "you're prone to care more if you actually expect it to happen"
What had bothered me until now about this explanation is that if applied inappropriately, it not only would reduce victims to objects, but also [in this case] suggests that there is 'naturally' supposed to be some social distance between (North-)Western Europe and the Middle East (when rather it is constructed by the same media who are trying to convince me of how normal this phenomenon is supposed to be).

However, now that I have read your entry on this topic, I can actually see a new use for this theory from now on. Thanks for restoring my faith in the social sciences.

A manifestation of psychological distance expressed in graphic form

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