Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, New York University (2017)

All Publications

  • Beyond Direct Reference: Comparing the Present to the Past Promotes Abstract Processing JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-GENERAL Kalkstein, D. A., Hubbard, A. D., Trope, Y. 2018; 147 (6): 933–38


    A primary way that people make sense of their experience is by comparing various objects within their immediate environment to each other and to previously encountered objects. The objects involved in a comparison can be stimuli that are present within one's immediate environment, or mental representations of previously encountered stimuli that are now absent from one's immediate environment. In this research, we propose that the comparison process unfolds differently depending on whether an individual is comparing stimuli that are simultaneously present within a given context or is comparing a target stimulus to a stored representation of a previously encountered source stimulus. Across two studies, we found that people engage in more abstract processing when comparing a present stimulus to a previously encountered source than when comparing two simultaneously present stimuli. We discuss the implications of these findings for the role of abstraction in comparison and memory-based reasoning. (PsycINFO Database Record

    View details for PubMedID 29888943

  • Social Learning Across Psychological Distance JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Kalkstein, D. A., Kleiman, T., Wakslak, C. J., Liberman, N., Trope, Y. 2016; 110 (1): 1–19


    While those we learn from are often close to us, more and more our learning environments are shifting to include more distant and dissimilar others. The question we examine in 5 studies is how whom we learn from influences what we learn and how what we learn influences from whom we choose to learn it. In Study 1, we show that social learning, in and of itself, promotes higher level (more abstract) learning than does learning based on one's own direct experience. In Studies 2 and 3, we show that when people learn from and emulate others, they tend to do so at a higher level when learning from a distant model than from a near model. Studies 4 and 5 show that thinking about learning at a higher (compared to a lower) level leads individuals to expand the range of others that they will consider learning from. Study 6 shows that when given an actual choice, people prefer to learn low-level information from near sources and high-level information from distant sources. These results demonstrate a basic link between level of learning and psychological distance in social learning processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pspa0000042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367533800003

    View details for PubMedID 26727663