ABSTRACT Construal level theory proposes that temporal distance changes people's responses to future events by changing the way people mentally represent those events. The greater the temporal distance, the more likely are events to be represented in terms of a few abstract features that convey the perceived essence of the events (high-level construals) rather than in terms of more concrete and incidental details of the events (low-level construals). The informational and evaluative implications of high-level construals, compared with those of low-level construals, should therefore have more impact on responses to distant-future events than near-future events. This article explores the implications of construal level theory for temporal changes in evaluation, prediction, and choice. The authors suggest that construal level underlies a broad range of evaluative and behavioral consequences of psychological distance from events.
- SourceAvailable from: Bruce Pfeiffer[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Research has demonstrated that consumers are commonly insensitive to missing information and that this insensitivity can lead them to form strong beliefs and evaluations on the basis of weak evidence. A growing body of research has shown that sensitivity to omissions can be heightened and that this increased sensitivity results in more appropriate evaluations. Expanding on this, the current research finds that the level of abstraction by which a situation is construed can influence the likelihood of omission detection and the resulting evaluative judgments. A series of studies reveal that people are more likely to spontaneously detect omissions in near versus distant judgments, in concrete versus abstract mind-sets, and when they are inherently more likely to interpret actions in concrete versus abstract terms. Further, although prior findings suggest that people may have differential sensitivity to primary and secondary missing features at different levels of construal, the current research finds no such difference. The results of this study indicate that people are more sensitive to all types of missing information when construal levels are low, and that this sensitivity leads to more moderate and appropriate judgments.Psychology and Marketing 11/2014; 31(11). DOI:10.1002/mar.20748 · 1.13 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The popularity of New Year's resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. If true, this little-researched phenomenon has the potential to help people overcome important willpower problems that often limit goal attainment. Across three archival field studies, we provide evidence of a "fresh start effect." We show that Google searches for the term "diet" (Study 1), gym visits (Study 2), and commitments to pursue goals (Study 3) all increase following temporal landmarks (e. g., the outset of a new week, month, year, or semester; a birthday; a holiday). We propose that these landmarks demarcate the passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors. Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901.Management Science 10/2014; 60(10):2563-2582. DOI:10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901 · 2.52 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Variations in the organization of personal goals are thought to be important to self-regulation, yet relevant measures and evidence is largely lacking. In two studies (total N = 217), participants were prompted to self-generate personal goals at three levels of a goal hierarchy (low, mid, and high), following which they rated all of these goals along an approach-avoidance dimension. A hierarchical approach measure was created from these ratings and this novel individual difference measure was hypothesized to predict the better self-regulation of goal frustrations in daily life. Such predictions were confirmed. For example, daily frustrations precipitated anger among those low but not high, in hierarchical approach (Study 2). The findings are important theoretically as well as from a measurement perspective.Motivation and Emotion 08/2014; 38(4). DOI:10.1007/s11031-014-9397-2 · 1.55 Impact Factor