The association between psychological distance and construal level: Evidence from an implicit association test

Yoav Bar-Anan, Nira Liberman, Yaacov Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

According to construal level theory (N. Liberman, Y. Trope, & E. Stephan, in press; Y. Trope & N. Liberman, 2003), people use a more abstract, high construal level when judging, perceiving, and predicting more psychologically distal targets, and they judge more abstract targets as being more psychologically distal. The present research demonstrated that associations between more distance and higher level of construal also exist on a pure conceptual level. Eight experiments used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. K. Schwartz, 1998) to demonstrate an association between words related to construal level (low vs. high) and words related to four dimensions of distance (proximal vs. distal): temporal distance, spatial distance, social distance, and hypotheticality. In addition to demonstrating an association between level of construal and psychological distance, these findings also corroborate the assumption that all 4 dimensions of psychological distance are related to level of construal in a similar way and support the notion that they all are forms of psychological distance. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-622
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume135
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Abstraction
  • Construal level theory
  • Implicit association test
  • Psychological distance
  • Temporal distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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