Influencing attitudes toward near and distant objects

Kentaro Fujita, Tal Eyal, Shelly Chaiken, Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is argued that the temporal distance of attitude objects systematically changes how the object is mentally represented, and thus influences the strength of particular persuasive appeals. Three experiments tested the hypothesis that people preferentially attend to arguments that highlight primary, abstract (high-level) vs. incidental, concrete (low-level) features when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near. Results suggested that when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near, arguments emphasizing primary vs. secondary features (Study 1), desirability vs. feasibility features (Study 2), and general classes vs. specific cases are more persuasive (Study 3). The relation of construal theory to dual process theories of persuasion and persuasion phenomena, such as personal relevance effects and functional matching effects, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-572
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Attitude change
  • Construal level theory
  • Mental construal
  • Persuasion
  • Temporal distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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