Prediction: A Construal-Level Theory Perspective

Nira Liberman, Yaacov Trope, SoYon Rim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter argues that abstraction has evolved in the service of prediction. Construallevel theory (CLT) is used to examine how people bridge the past and the future by means of abstraction, or, in other words, how people make predictions by using abstract mental construals. In the framework of CLT, prediction, or bridging over time, is akin to mentally bridging over other psychological distances: understanding another person's perspective (bridging over social distance), constructing alternate worlds (bridging over hypotheticality), or understanding other places and taking a different spatial perspective (mentally bridging over spatial distance). The chapter first introduces CLT and then describes relevant research on prediction, also pointing, along the way, to open questions for further research. Finally, it examines the commonalities among predictions over different types of distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPredictions in the Brain
Subtitle of host publicationUsing Our Past to Generate a Future
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199897230
ISBN (Print)9780195395518
StatePublished - Sep 22 2011


  • Abstract mental construals
  • Abstraction
  • Bridging
  • Construal-level theory
  • Prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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