A board showing distances near Visakhapatnam, India

Distance is a numerical or occasionally qualitative measurement of how far apart objects or points are. In physics or everyday usage, distance may refer to a physical length or an estimation based on other criteria (e.g. "two counties over"). Since spatial cognition is a rich source of conceptual metaphors in human thought,[1] the term is also frequently used metaphorically to mean a measurement of the amount of difference between two similar objects (such as statistical distance between probability distributions or edit distance between strings of text) or a degree of separation (as exemplified by distance between people in a social network). Most such notions of distance, both physical and metaphorical, are formalized in mathematics using the notion of a metric space.

In the social sciences, distance can refer to a qualitative measurement of separation, such as social distance or psychological distance.

  1. ^ Schnall, Simone (2014). "Are there basic metaphors?". The power of metaphor: Examining its influence on social life. American Psychological Association. pp. 225–247. doi:10.1037/14278-010.

Powered by 654 easy search