Construal levels and self-control

Kentaro Fujita, Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman, Maya Levin-Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors propose that self-control involves making decisions and behaving in a manner consistent with high-level versus low-level construals of a situation. Activation of high-level construals (which capture global, superordinate, primary features of an event) should lead to greater self-control than activation of low-level construals (which capture local, subordinate, secondary features). In 6 experiments using 3 different techniques, the authors manipulated construal levels and assessed their effects on self-control and underlying psychological processes. High-level construals led to decreased preferences for immediate over delayed outcomes, greater physical endurance, stronger intentions to exert self-control, and less positive evaluations of temptations that undermine self-control. These results support a construal-level analysis of self-control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-367
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

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Keywords

  • Mental construal
  • Preference reversals
  • Self-control
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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