Construal Levels and Self-Control

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 selfcontrol, and less positive evaluations of temptations that undermine self-control. These results support a construal-level analysis of self-control.

Reference Information

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APA-Format Citation

Fujita, K., Trope, Y., Liberman, N., & Levin-Sagi, M. (2006):Construal Levels and Self-Control. Attitudes and Social Cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 90(3), Mar 2006, 351-367