How Far Does It Feel? Construal Level and Decisions Under Risk

Abstract: Research has shown that framing decisions as gains or losses distorts human judgment. Human judgment is also assumed to be influenced by the actual level of construal. Whether decisions are construed in a more detailed manner (low level construal) or in a more abstract manner (high level construal) can depend on perceived psychological distance. In the present studies, we examined the influence of framing and psychological distance on risk taking. In three studies with students (n = 65), physicians (n = 60), and hotel managers (n = 39), we found evidence that construal level influences risk seeking in gain situations, but not in loss situations. Furthermore, the framing effect could be replicated in psychologically close situations, and was eliminated (Studies 1 and 2) or reversed (Study 3) in psychologically distant situations. Our findings illuminate the interplay of framing and construal level, and points out their applicability in organizational decision making.

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APA-Format Citation

Raue, M., Streicher, B., Lermer, E., & Frey, D. (2015). How far does it feel? Construal level and decisions under risk. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 4(3), 256-264.