This chapter explores the issue of evaluative consistency and context-dependence by considering when stability or flexibility in evaluative responding would be most useful for the social organism. We propose that cues about distance functionally shape evaluations to flexibly incorporate information from their current context when individuals are acting on proximal stimuli, but to transcend these immediate details when acting on distal stimuli. In this chapter, we review research within and beyond the attitude domain that has helped to shed light on issues of evaluative consistency, and then build on this research to describe the proposed link between distance and evaluative consistency in more detail. We suggest that construal level provides a cognitive mechanism by which distance can regulate evaluative consistency, and describe both past research that can be reinterpreted in this light as well as more recent research that provides some direct support for our approach. We conclude by discussing implications for shared reality and social influence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology