心理科学进展, 2018, 26(10): 1878-1889 doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01878

研究前沿

解释水平对自我控制的影响

张玥1,2, 窦东徽,1, 辛自强1

1中央财经大学社会与心理学院心理学系, 北京 100081

2 北京师范大学心理学部, 北京 100875

The effect of construal levels on self-control

ZHANG Yue1,2, DOU Donghui,1, XIN Ziqiang1

1 Department of Psychology at School of Sociology and Psychology, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing 100081, China

2 Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

通讯作者: 窦东徽, E-mail: psychaos@126.com

收稿日期: 2017-05-2   网络出版日期: 2018-10-15

基金资助: *国家社会科学基金重大项目.  17ZDA325
“我国公民财经素养指数建构与数据库建设”

Received: 2017-05-2   Online: 2018-10-15

摘要

解释水平理论认为自我控制是人们依据对事件整体的高解释水平方式而非局部的低解释水平方式做出决策和完成任务。对时间折扣、坚持和健康行为以及前瞻性自我控制的研究表明高解释水平会促进自我控制。高解释水平是通过改变对诱惑的加工(包含对诱惑的态度和诱惑的激活模式)来促进自我控制, 但这种促进作用会受到目标和任务属性(重要性、难度、效价、完成时间和呈现方式)以及解释水平线索属性(外显和内隐)的调节。解释水平理论视角下的自我控制研究可以拓宽自我控制双系统理论和资源理论的视野, 如提供可能的边界条件和认知机制。未来研究还需要深入挖掘解释水平影响自我控制的内在机制和生理基础, 重视心理距离的影响以及加强对自控能力的长期追踪研究。

关键词: 解释水平 ; 自我控制 ; 心理距离

Abstract

Construal Level Theory considered that self-control was broadly conceptualized as making decisions and acting in accordance with global, high-level construal of the situation rather than local, low-level construal. Researches concerning temporal discount, persistence, healthy behaviors and prospective self-control showed that high construal level promotes self-control. Moreover, the effect of high-level construal on self-control was mediated by attitudes toward temptations and asymmetric temptation-goal. The effect is modulated by the characteristics of task and goal (e.g. goal value and difficulty, valence, response style, manifestation of goals) and presence of high level construal cue (explicit or implicit). In summary, the present approach, which considers self-control as a construal-dependent decision, extended self-control Dual-Model and Ego-Depletion Model and provided some more possible psychological mechanisms. Therefore, further research should focus on mechanisms of the positive construal level and self-control association, investigate effects of psychological distance on such association and look into this association from longitudinal perspective.

Keywords: construal level ; self-control ; psychological distance

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本文引用格式

张玥, 窦东徽, 辛自强. (2018). 解释水平对自我控制的影响. 心理科学进展, 26(10), 1878-1889

ZHANG Yue, DOU Donghui, XIN Ziqiang. (2018). The effect of construal levels on self-control. Advances in Psychological Science, 26(10), 1878-1889

1 引言

人们的目标大多不会立即实现, 因而人们在实现自己目标的过程中经常会面临诱惑或者处于当前利益和长远利益相冲突的困境中, 这时就需要自我控制(self-control)来帮助个体抵制诱惑并实现目标。自我控制在教育、经济、临床和发展心理学等多个领域已经受到了广泛的关注。有关自我控制的理论和研究很多, 如自我控制资源理论和双系统理论, 但这些理论和研究对自我控制的定义并不相同。解释水平理论(Construal Level Theory, CLT)从认知方面对自我控制进行了更具概括化的解读。

解释水平理论认为人们对于事件的表征有不同的抽象水平, 这一抽象水平有高有低, 抽象程度高即高解释水平, 抽象程度低即低解释水平。高解释水平是抽象的、去背景化的、核心的、本质的、上位的以及与目标相关的, 例如认为读书是为了获取知识; 而低解释水平是具体的、背景化的、表面的、下位的以及与目标无关的, 例如认为读书是一行一行看铅字(Trope & Liberman, 2003)。高解释水平会促进对行为目标及其价值的关注, 即关注渴望性(desirability); 而低解释水平会促进对可得性(feasibility)的关注, 即对完成目标的手段及其难易程度的关注(Fujita, Eyal, Chaiken, Trope, & Liberman, 2008)。解释水平既是一种人格特质(例如有些人习惯抽象地表征而有些人则更习惯具体地表征), 但它也可以随着心理距离的变化而变化(Fujita, 2008)。心理距离是指个体以自我为参照点, 对所描述的事件或行为在时空上的远近以及发生概率大小的感知, 通常包含时间距离、空间距离、社会距离和假设性四个维度(Trope, Liberman, & Wakslak, 2007)。当个体知觉事件的心理距离较远时, 个体倾向于使用高解释水平对事件进行表征; 当个体知觉距离较近时, 个体倾向于低解释水平对事件进行表征(Bar-Anan, Liberman, Trope, & Algom, 2007; Trope & Liberman, 2010)。同时, 心理距离与解释水平的关系是双向的, 即心理距离的远近影响解释水平的高低, 而解释水平的高低也影响着心理距离的远近(Liberman & Förster, 2009; Henderson, Wakslak, Fujita, & Rohrbach, 2011)。

在上述内容的基础上, 解释水平理论认为自我控制是指人们依据对事件整体的高解释水平方式而非局部的低解释水平方式做出决策或完成任务(Fujita, Trope, Liberman, & Levin-Sagi, 2006)。自我控制会使人们更倾向于选择那些更具价值但心理距离较远的事物或行为而非心理距离较近但价值更低的即时回报(Fujita, 2011)。根据以上定义, 解释水平理论假设高解释水平会促进人们的自我控制, 并且进行了一系列实证研究来验证该假设(Fujita et al., 2006)。但相对于自我控制其他理论的研究, 关注解释水平与自我控制的研究仍然较少, 这点在国内研究中尤其突出。本文对相关研究结果进行了梳理, 归纳解释水平对不同自我控制行为的影响, 对两种经典自我控制理论的拓展, 以及这种效应的边界条件和中介机制, 为未来解释水平和自我控制的研究提供参考。

2 解释水平对自我控制的影响及其机制

解释水平与自我控制关系的实证研究可以分为两大类:一类通过操纵解释水平, 考察其对自我控制的影响; 另一类则将解释水平视为一种人格特质, 考察其与自我控制的关系。操纵解释水平常用的方式有以下两种:(1)原因/手段任务, 由Freitas, Gollwitzer和Trope (2004)开发。被试通过回答一系列行为的目的或原因来启动高解释水平, 例如“为何要运动?” 而通过回答完成一系列行为的手段来启动低解释水平, 例如“如何运动?” (Chiou, Wu, & Chang, 2013)。(2)归纳/举例任务, 也可称为上下位概念任务, 由Fujita等(2006)开发。该任务是通过让被试对所呈现的单词进行类别描述(上位概念)来启动高解释水平, 而通过举一个有关的例子(下位概念)来启动低解释水平。例如高解释水平组需要回答“演员”是什么的一个例子, 而低解释水平组则需要回答什么是“演员”的一个例子(Fujita & Carnevale, 2012)。

而作为个体特质的解释水平一般通过Vallacher和Wegner (1989)设计的行为鉴定表(Behavior Identification Form, BIF)来测量, 这份量表用“如何做(手段)”和“为何做(目的)”两种不同的方式对25个行为进行描述, 统计个体选择目的选项的数量, 数量越多表示个体的解释水平也越高。

作为因变量的自我控制是一个较为抽象的概念, 在行为层面可以表现为时间折扣(temporal discounting)和延迟满足(delay of gratification), 坚持和健康行为以及前瞻性自我控制(prospective self-control)。下面将从这三个方面分别梳理解释水平对自我控制的影响, 并在最后探讨解释水平影响自我控制的可能机制。

2.1 高解释水平促进自我控制

2.1.1 时间折扣和延迟满足

时间折扣是指对较远事物的价值评价更低(Ainslie, 1975)。个体的时间折扣越高, 个体对立即结果的偏好越大, 自我控制能力就越差, 这是由于高时间折扣的被试会更偏爱立即但价值较小的回报而非延迟但价值较大的回报(Fujita & Carnevale, 2012)。延迟满足与时间折扣相似, 它是指个体在决策时从长远利益出发, 而非依据短期的回报, 或是说放弃即时满足来获取更有价值的长远目标(Mischel & Ebbese, 1970)。两者均反映了个体在立即小回报和未来大回报之间的偏爱和取舍。

Fujita等(2006)研究发现高解释水平会降低对立即结果的偏好。在他们的实验中通过原因/手段任务来操纵解释水平, 然后让被试分别评估立即或延迟一段时间获得某种商品时, 他们愿意支付的金额, 结果发现与低解释水平组比, 高解释水平组对立即获得某种商品愿意支付的金额更小, 即时间延迟对高解释水平组的被试影响更小, 表明启动高解释水平可能会促进自我控制。这一结果也在后续研究中被重复验证(Yi, Stuppy-Sullivan, Pickover, & Landes, 2017)。操纵心理距离的研究也证实了上述结果。在Pronin, Olivola和Kennedy (2008)的实验中让被试选择是实验结束后马上得到50美元的回报还是两个半月后得到65美元的回报, 而近心理距离组的被试被告知被试费会当天发放, 远心理距离组的被试则被告知被试费因为某种原因要晚一些发放, 即被试需要替“未来的自己”做出决策, 结果发现远心理距离组选择50美元立即回报的被试数量要显著少于近距离组; 研究者另外用第一人称(近心理距离)和第三人称(远心理距离)来操纵心理距离也发现了同样的结果。

对现时偏见的研究也展现了同样的结果(Malkoc, Zauberman, & Bettman, 2010)。现时偏见是指人们对时间的附加费用会随着时间的增加而减少, 其与时间折扣范式的差异在于时间折扣范式一般要求被试在立即收益和延迟收益之间进行选择, 而现实偏见任务中被试面临的选择则是在两个延迟时间不同的未来收益之间。例如, 人们会较延迟10天, 对延迟3天索要更高的回报(Benhabib, Bisin, & Schotter, 2010)。这表面上与时间折扣的选择模式不同, 但两者背后的选择逻辑却是一致的, 均反映了个体对即时回报的非理性偏爱。之所以人们在两个未来收益之间对延迟更短的索要更高的报酬是因为随着时间的增加, 人们对获得立即报酬的渴望以及对等待的厌烦也随之减少了。等待的时间越短, 人们对得到报酬的期待就越高, 也就会要求更多的额外收益去补偿等待。简言之, 个体的现时偏见越高, 表示个体越重视即时回报。Malkoc等人(2010)研究证实了启动高解释水平会减少被试的现时偏见, 即相较于低解释水平组, 高解释水平组在延迟三天的条件下索要了更少的额外报酬。

上述研究均表明在面对时间序列上的选择时, 被启动高解释水平的个体更可能选择时间距离更远但收益更高的选项, 即表现出了更高的延迟满足行为。究其原因, 可能是由于高解释水平意味着远心理距离(Trope et al., 2007), 即当个体使用高解释水平对事件进行表征时, 个体知觉事件的心理距离较远。时间距离作为心理距离的一种类型(Trope et al., 2007), 启动高解释水平拉长了个体与目标间的时间心理距离, 从而使个体更可能在行动时着眼于未来的长期目标而非即时满足, 即更低的时间折扣和更高的延迟满足。

2.1.2 坚持和健康行为

自我控制选择主要是指在自我控制冲突中个体选择付出一定的代价来获得较高的回报, 若个体选择不付出代价因而也无法获得回报则表示个体自我控制失败。自控选择主要包括一些健康行为(如饮食和运动), 其在实验室中主要通过握力器任务测量。Magen和Gross (2007)研究发现那些将握力器任务描述为“抵制诱惑的意志力测验(高解释水平建构)”的被试握握力器的时间更长, 表现出了更强的自我控制。Fujita等(2006)的研究也验证了这一结果。在他们的实验2中被试被告知握握力器的时间越长就越可能获得更精准的人格测验信息, 结果发现高解释水平启动组被试比低解释水平启动组被试握握力器的时间更长, 表明高解释水平会促进自我控制。而在他们的实验3中被试需要评价他们是否愿意参加后续实验的意愿, 后续实验需要付出一定代价(例如劳累和疼痛)但会让被试获益良多, 例如得到心脏病发病风险的准确评估。结果发现, 高解释水平组被试较低解释水平组参加后续心理学实验的意愿更高。此外, 在搜索与自身相关的信息时个体也会面临自我控制选择, 即面对渴望得到精确的自我信息与避免消极信息带来的伤害这一自我控制冲突情境, 对消极信息更高的搜寻意愿体现出了更高的自我控制。研究发现高解释水平者更愿意去搜索与自己有关的消极信息(Freitas, Salovey, & Liberman, 2001)。操纵心理距离的研究也得到了一致的结果, 有研究发现当被试需要规定自己出于科学目的喝下会引发呕吐感的饮料数量时, 需要立即喝下饮料的被试选择的量要少于可以半年之后再喝饮料的被试选择的饮料数量(Pronin et al., 2008)。

在健康行为方面, 不同解释水平的个体对健康和不健康食品的评价本身就不同, 有研究发现高解释水平个体对不健康食品的健康程度评价显著低于低解释水平个体, 对健康食品的评价则显著高于他们(Ronteltap, Sijtsema, Dagevos, & de Winter, 2012)。且高解释水平个体相比于享乐型食品(M&M豆和巧克力棒)更偏爱实用型食品(香蕉和谷物棒) (van Beek, Handgraaf, & Antonides, 2017)。这种评价上的差异也体现在了健康食品的摄入方面, Fujita和Han (2009)招募了非常关注身材的女大学生, 她们在实验休息时可以选择吃一个苹果(健康食品)或者一大块糖(非健康食品)。结果发现高解释水平启动组被试选择苹果的比率要比低解释水平启动组被试高50%, 证明了高解释水平可以提高自我控制。Hamilton, Vohs, Sellier和Meyvis (2011)的实验也支持了这一结果, 在他们的实验中给被试20杯含有1盎司难喝但健康的饮品, 被试喝1杯就可以得到5美分, 被试喝得越多表明其自我控制的能力就越好, 结果发现高解释水平启动下的被试喝了更多的健康饮品。此外解释水平还会影响被试在不健康食品摄入方面的自我控制, 在实验中先让被试感到社会排斥, 然后再通过自我超越(self-transcendence)或自我提高(self-enhancement)的方法进行自我肯定, 最后被试在休息时间内他们可以尽情地吃实验室中的饼干(一种美味但不健康的食品), 吃更少的饼干表示自我控制更好。结果发现, 使用自我超越方法的被试食用的饼干数量少于使用自我提高方法的被试(Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012), 这是因为自我超越较自我肯定促进了更高的解释水平(Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009)。

除了摄入健康食品方面, 吸烟和运动等与健康有关的行为也可以体现个体的自我控制。在Chiou等(2013)的实验中被试在完成原因/手段任务后, 需要填写一份人格问卷, 大概需要1小时的时间, 在这期间他们可以吸烟, 结果发现启动高解释水平的吸烟者填写人格问卷时吸烟数量更少。此外, 参加运动也可以被视为自我控制任务, 因为运动后的劳累感以及运动对身体的益处构成了自我控制冲突。在Sweeney和Freitas (2014)的实验中被试承诺一周至少运动四次, 然后统计被试在之后的一周参加运动的时间, 结果发现高解释水平启动组被试运动的时间显著长于低解释水平启动组, 表现出了更好的自我控制能力。上述结果表明当自我控制表现在坚持和健康行为上, 高解释水平对非健康的目标评价更低, 更能抵制诱惑, 坚持对自身更有利的行为, 表现出更多的健康行为和更少的不健康行为。

2.1.3 前瞻性自我控制

解释水平不仅会影响被试当下面对诱惑时的行为, 也会增大抵制未来诱惑的可能性, 即会提高被试的前瞻性自我控制(Rogers & Bazerman, 2008)。前瞻性自我控制是指当个体预见到未来可能存在的诱惑时, 个体会采取一系列措施, 如自我惩罚, 来支持未来的自我控制。Fujita和Roberts (2010)等人发现启动高解释水平会增加被试使用前瞻性自我控制策略的可能性。在他们的实验中, 被试有机会获得详细精准的认知能力评估, 这份评估可以预测他们学术和职业上的成功, 但是测试时间非常不方便, 例如在夜间两点到五点, 因此被试在实验中会面临自我控制的冲突。被试需要报告如果他们没有来参加这份评估他们愿意支付的罚金数额。结果发现高解释水平启动组被试愿意支付的罚金数额更高, 即高解释水平提高了被试的前瞻性自我控制。Roberts (2011)的研究结果在验证上述结果的基础上还发现除了使用自我惩罚的方式, 高解释水平的被试还会使用预先设限的方法来支持未来的自我控制。在实验中, 被试被告知需要参加一个小吃品尝测试, 他们可以选择在测试中想吃多少吃多少, 也可以选择事先设定一个数量, 当食用到该数量时, 主试会强行收走小吃。结果发现, 启动高解释水平的被试更愿意选择事先设定一个数量。

综上所述, 不论是操纵解释水平还是将其视为个人特质进行测量, 结果都验证了高解释水平会促进自我控制, 这是由于高解释水平者更关注那些核心的抽象目标, 例如维持身体健康, 而低解释水平者则更关注那些次要的具体回报(诱惑), 例如巧克力的美味, 因而高解释水平者在面对自我控制冲突时更容易抵制诱惑完成自我控制目标。也就是说, 个体对短期回报的态度可能是解释水平影响自我控制的心理机制。

2.2 解释水平影响自我控制的心理机制

现有关于解释水平影响自我控制的中介机制研究主要集中于个体对短期回报(诱惑)的加工, 包含了诱惑的激活模式和对诱惑的态度。对于诱惑的激活模式, 解释水平的变化会引起概念间认知联结的变化, 不同的联结对自我控制有不同的影响。研究发现非对称的诱惑-目标联结可以增强自我控制(Fishbach, Friedman, & Kruglanski, 2003)。非对称的诱惑目标联结是指近端的诱惑可以激活远端的目标概念, 但是目标概念不能反过来激活诱惑。Fujita和Sasota (2011)使用词汇选择任务(Lexical Decision Task)来考察诱惑-目标的联结, 结果只有激活高解释水平的被试才存在非对称的诱惑-目标联结, 低解释水平的被试不存在这种联结。

此外, 当一个人对某一事件或行为的建构改变时, 这件事对他们的意义也就改变了(Fujita & Carnevale, 2012)。一个有效衡量意义改变的方法就是测量对诱惑的态度。例如将油炸薯条视为“可口的小吃”则表示个体很可能对薯条持有积极态度, 而将油炸薯条视为“减肥的障碍”则表示个体很可能对薯条持有消极态度。Fujita等人(2006)的研究发现高解释水平启动组和低解释水平启动组对中性词的评价没有差异, 但高解释水平组对那些会阻碍目标完成的诱惑词语评价更低。进一步将解释水平的操纵方式直接与诱惑情境相联系, 结果表明相较于阅读具体的(低解释水平)诱惑情境的被试, 阅读抽象描述的(高解释水平)诱惑情境的被试对诱惑的评价更低。。Fujita和Han (2009)进一步验证了对诱惑的态度在解释水平对自我控制影响中的中介作用。他们使用内隐联想测验(Implicit Association Test)考察被试对诱惑词的态度, 结果发现高解释水平会使个体对诱惑词持有一种消极态度, 进而促进了被试的自我控制程度, 对诱惑词的消极态度在解释水平与自我控制间起到部分中介作用。而使用内隐联想测验的方法来考察态度也说明高解释水平影响对诱惑的评估并不一定需要意识参与, 也可以通过内隐的方式来降低对诱惑的评价。

不同的解释水平会使个体对诱惑有不同的加工, 高解释水平者会更反感诱惑, 也就更不容易受到短期回报的影响, 从而放弃长期利益; 且诱惑可以激活他们的远端目标, 提醒面临诱惑的个体他们的最终目标, 从而促使个体更容易抵制诱惑, 促进了自我控制。

3 解释水平理论对自我控制理论的拓展

上文聚焦于解释水平对各类具体自我控制行为的影响, 下面将基于具体行为层面的研究结 果——“高解释水平会促进自我控制”, 从理论层面探讨解释水平理论会如何拓展现有自我控制理论, 阐释解释水平理论与两种经典自我控制理论的联系, 更宏观地展现解释水平与自我控制的关系。这两种自我控制理论分别是双系统模型和自我耗竭理论。

3.1 自我控制的双系统模型

Metcalfe和Mischel (1999)提出了双系统启动模型理论, 该理论认为个体的行为可以被“热系统”或“冷系统”激活。热系统主要指以杏仁核为代表的情绪系统, 热系统的激活会致使人们做出非理性决策; 冷系统是以海马为代表的认知系统, 激活冷系统会使个体进行思考和理性分析。增强热系统激活的因素会降低自我控制, 而促进冷系统激活的因素则会提高自我控制。

解释水平理论指出了双系统影响自我控制的边界条件。解释水平理论下自我控制的研究指出并非所有情绪系统的激活都会阻碍自我控制, 愧疚(guilt)和羞耻(shame)等情绪会促进自我控制(Amodio, Devine, & Harmon-Jones, 2007), 因为此类情绪的激活是通过唤醒个体对自身行为进行抽象地建构, 即激活高解释水平(Fujita, 2008)。但是也有研究指出, 愧疚和羞耻虽然有很多相似性, 但却是两类不同的情绪, 愧疚会降低个体的解释水平但羞耻却会提高解释水平(Han, Duhachek, & Agrawal, 2014)。不过该研究的结论仅是基于对比未激活情绪的控制组, 并未比较其他消极和积极情绪。关于情绪、解释水平和自我控制的关系还有待更多的实证研究。此外, 还有研究发现积极情绪会促进自我控制(Shmueli & Prochaska, 2012), 是因为积极情绪的被试会使用更宏观的方式加工视觉信息, 即他们的解释水平更高(转引自Fujita et al., 2006)。也就是说, 解释水平会调节热系统或直觉反应对自我控制的影响, 即冲动系统以及需要付出努力的控制系统对自我控制的影响可能依靠于个体在情境中所采用的解释水平。

3.2 自我耗竭理论

自我耗竭模型是最受研究者们关注的自我控制模型(Goto & Kusumi, 2013)。Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven和Tice (1998)等人认为自我控制能力都依赖于个体有限的资源, 且自我调节会减少资源, 有意识的反省、调节思维方式、情绪和行为会减少能够用于其他活动的资源。但到底什么是自我控制资源呢?现有的研究多是通过双任务范式来反映个体的自我耗竭(ego-depletion), 即完成前一个需要自我控制的任务(例如不想白熊)会减弱被试在后继任务中的自我控制能力, 以个体在后一个任务上自我控制的失败来反映自我控制资源的消耗。很少有研究触及自我控制资源的本质, Baumeister的研究团队曾将其具化在生理层面, 认为自我控制资源与血液中的葡萄糖水平有关(Gailliot et al., 2007), 但这一结果被很多后续研究所质疑(Beedie & Lane, 2012)。有研究者指出应从生理和认知多重角度考察自我控制的资源模型, 丰富其内部机制的研究(Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2012)。对于此, 关于解释水平和自我耗竭的研究为自我控制的资源模型提供了一个认知表征视角的可能解释。

研究指出低解释水平可能与自我耗竭相联系。完成需要自我控制任务的被试要比完成不需自我控制任务的被试对以自我为参照点的空间距离估计得更近, 在分类任务中也分出了更多的组, 且用更具体的语言去描述动画片中的主人公(Bruyneel & Dewitte, 2012), 更倾向于追求时间距离近的目标(Lyu, Lai, & Liu, 2017), 在行为鉴定表上得分更低(Kim, Lee, & Rua, 2015), 表明自我耗竭会降低个体的解释水平。而根据前文所述, 低解释水平会降低自我控制。因而解释水平可能在自我耗竭的双任务间起到中介作用, 即前一个任务引发了自我耗竭, 降低了个体的解释水平, 从而影响了个体在后一个任务上的表现。对于此, Wan和Agrawal (2011)的研究直接检验了解释水平的中介作用。他们的研究发现前一个自我控制任务会降低被试对后一个任务核心特征的重要性评价, 增高对其次要特征和可得性特征的重要性评价, 即降低了个体的解释水平, 进而阻碍了自我耗竭的个体后一个自我控制任务的表现。而在自我耗竭的双任务之间启动解释水平更直接地展现了解释水平的中介作用, 研究结果显示完成第一个自我控制任务后, 被启动低解释水平的个体出现了自我耗竭现象, 但高解释水平启动组被试没有出现自我耗竭现象(Agrawal & Wan, 2009; Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009)。上述研究表明解释水平这一对自我控制情境或事件的认知表征可能与自我控制的资源在某种程度上有所联系, 但这还需要更多的研究加以证明。

解释水平理论从认知表征的角度探讨了自我控制, 拓展了自我控制理论的研究视角。对解释水平和自我控制的研究有利于探明自我控制资源的本质以及更好地理解双系统模型中热系统激活与自我控制的关系, 有助于自我控制理论的完善。

4 调节机制

前文从具体行为和理论两个层面探讨了高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用, 但这种促进作用并非是普适性的, 它会受到自我控制目标的属性和解释水平线索属性的影响。下面将探讨高解释水平对自我控制促进作用的边界条件, 从而更全面地理解解释水平与自我控制的关系。

4.1 目标和任务属性

4.1.1 任务的价值、难度和效价

高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用并非适用于所有个体。研究发现这种促进作用只存在于对目标价值评估高的被试中(Fujita et al., 2006; Fujita & Roberts, 2010; Fujita & Sasota, 2011; Roberts, 2011)。对目标价值评估高意味着目标对被试具有意义, 如果一个目标对被试没有任何意义, 就不需要付出一定的代价来完成它, 进而也就不需要自我控制。此外, 被试对任务难度的评估也会影响高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用。Roberts (2011)研究发现, 高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用只存在于那些认为自己很难完成任务的被试中。因为若被试认为他们可以很简单地完成任务, 就不需要自我控制能力来帮助他们抵制诱惑了。

除了任务的价值和难度外, 任务结果的效价也会调节解释水平对自我控制的影响。任务结果并非总是积极的, 自我控制的目的之一是通过亚优势的中性或积极反应来取代优势的消极反应, 以此减少消极情绪(Volokhov & Demaree, 2010)。Watkins等人(2008)研究发现用具体方式建构失败会减少消极体验, 关于结果阐述(outcome elaboration)的研究更直接地展现了在思考消极任务结果时, 低解释水平会更有利。结果阐述是一种自我控制的策略, 是指个体对未来可能产生的结果进行思考, 这种思考会促进自我控制, 因为其促使个体更关注长期的更有价值的目标(Haws, Bearden, & Nenkov, 2012)。而结果阐述可以分为积极和消极两个方面, 积极的结果阐述指对收获的关注, 而消极的结果阐述指对损失的关注。研究发现, 积极的结果阐述以抽象方式(高解释水平)出现时, 对自我控制的促进效果更好, 相反, 消极的结果阐述以具体的方式(低解释水平)呈现时, 对自我控制的促进效果更好(Nenkov, Haws, & Kim, 2014)。

4.1.2 任务完成时间

任务完成时间是指任务是否需要立即完成。有些自我控制目标是需要立即完成的, 而有些却是需要一段时间才能完成的。相比于需要立即完成的目标, 高解释水平在需要一段时间完成的目标上更能促进自我控制。Schmeichel等人(2010)通过停止信号任务(Stop Signal Task)来验证了任务完成时间的调节作用。停止信号任务要求被试抑制某些反应, 而这常被视为自我控制的经典模式(Verbruggen & Logan, 2009)。研究使用了传统的停止信号任务和改编的延迟信号任务。传统的停止信号任务是指如果屏幕上呈现的数字串与前一个数字串完全一样, 被试需按键(Go任务), 而若任何数字串由原始的黑色变为红色, 则要求被试不能按键(Stop任务)。传统的停止信号任务通常要求被试关注当下以及对当下的情境做出立即反应, 这与之前解释水平研究中使用的自我控制任务不同。相反, 延迟停止信号任务则要求每三个数字串的颜色改变后再执行一次Stop任务, 延迟信号任务要求被试将停止按键的目标保存在工作记忆中, 因此如之前的研究一样被试需要面对自我控制冲突情境——面对Stop的信号但却不能执行。结果发现在传统的停止信号任务中, 低解释水平启动组被试的正确率更高, 而在延迟停止信号任务中, 高解释水平组被试的正确率更高。这一结果与前文所涉及的研究结果相一致, 健康行为等任务并非强调个体需要立即展开行动, 而是着重于坚持, 即需要一段时间来完成目标; 且相比于需要立即完成的目标, 延后完成的目标具有更远的时间距离, 这一点也与前瞻性自我控制和延迟满足相类似。

除了实验室中的停止信号任务, 现实生活中的拖延行为也展现了自我控制任务的完成时间属性。拖延程度也反映着一个人的自我控制能力, 自我控制能力更高, 拖延程度则更低(De Ridder, Lensvelt-Mulders, Finkenauer, Stok, & Baumeister, 2012), 但与前文所涉及到的自我控制行为均不同的是, 克服拖延要求个体立即展开行动。关于解释水平和拖延的研究结果并不一致。有研究发现, 高解释水平的被试完成任务时拖延程度更高(McCrea, Liberman, Trope, & Sherman, 2008), 但也有研究通过行为鉴定表测量了解释水平, 发现高解释水平者自评的拖延程度更低(Terada, 2017)。不一致的原因可能在于McCrea等人(2008)是通过实验法考察解释水平对拖延的影响, 采用的是拖延的行为指标, 即从布置任务到被试完成任务间的时间间隔; 而Terada (2017)则是采用了自评量表的方法考察个体的拖延程度, 也就是说, 对于高解释水平个体来说, 花费更长时间完成任务可能并不等于拖延。关于解释水平与时间知觉的研究可以为此提供佐证, 研究发现高解释水平延后了个体对活动或行为开始时间的评估, 即相比于低解释水平者, 高解释水平者认为距活动开始还有更长的时间, 采取行动的时间也更晚(Liberman, Trope, McCrea, & Sherman, 2007); 而且, 高解释水平仅会增加对客观时间的评估(按照天数或小时数评估活动还有多少时间开始), 但会缩短主观时间评估(对活动开始时间的主观感受), 即认为活动还有更长时间才开始, 但距离自己更近(Hu & Maglio, 2016)。在这种时间知觉下, 高解释水平个体很可能并不认为自己晚开始行动是拖延的表现, 所以在使用自评量表来测量拖延时, 解释水平并不会带来拖延。总之, 相比于需要立即展开行动的任务, 在需要一段时间来完成的任务中, 高解释水平才对自我控制更有效。

4.1.3 目标表现形式

目标表达方式也会影响解释水平对自我控制的作用。目标可以有两种表达方式:目标性意图和执行性意图。目标性意图(goal intention)指个体需要表现出的行为或事件需要出现的结果, 其形式为“我打算达到状态Z”; 执行性意图(implementation intention)代表个体为实现目标所确定的计划, 它以“如果X那么Y”为形式, 明确说明个体何时、何地、以怎样的方式实现目标(Rummel, Einstein, & Rampey, 2012)。Wieber等人(2014)研究发现个体在完成自我控制任务时目标表现形式会调节解释水平对自我控制的影响, 当启动被试的目标性意图时, 高解释水平会促进被试的自我控制, 但当启动被试的执行性意图时, 低解释水平组被试自我控制任务表现更好。

上述结果可以在一定程度上解释为何高解释水平会带来更高的拖延。解决拖延的一个重要办法就是停止设想, 立刻行动, 真正动手去完成任务。在这种情况下, 个体的目标是需要立即完成的, 且相较于思考希望达到的结果, 更多地是去思考如何完成任务, 即执行性意图。而在这两种条件下, 相较于高解释水平, 反而是低解释水平会促进自我控制。这一点已经得到了研究证实, 关注完成目标的过程比关注目标结果会有更低水平的拖延(Krause & Freund, 2016)。显然, 规划目标过程比展望目标结果涉及到更低的解释水平。

4.2 高解释水平线索

高解释水平线索可以分为外显和内隐两个方面。外显是指个体会意识到高解释水平线索以及其对自我控制的促进作用, 而内隐是指个体不会意识到高解释水平线索的存在以及其作用。高解释水平线索是否存在于后续自我控制任务中会调节解释水平对自我控制的影响。

对于外显的高解释水平线索, 已有研究指出当被试意识到高解释水平相较于低解释水平会提高自我控制时, 高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用更强, 且越了解两者的关系, 其自我控制水平也越高, 同时能通过自我控制获得更多的积极结果, 例如更好的成绩或者更低的体脂率(MacGregor, Carnevale, Dusthimer, & Fujita, 2017)。而对于内隐的高解释水平线索, 高解释水平对自我控制的促进作用仅在后续自控任务存在高解释水平线索时出现(Price, Higgs, & Lee, 2016)。研究者在解释水平启动任务中嵌入了一个新奇的视觉图标, 作为启动任务的线索, 即每个被试在完成高或低解释水平启动任务时都会看到这个图标, 之后被试可以随意试吃多种小吃, 食用零食的数量越多表明自我控制越差。结果发现只有当小吃的食物标签印有这一线索图标时, 高解释水平才对自我控制有促进作用; 且这种影响是内隐的, 因为被试在食用零食时并没有注意到食物标签上存在之前看过的线索图标。

总之, 上述研究展现了高解释水平促进自我控制的边界条件, 但还需未来研究深入探讨解释水平影响自我控制的边际条件, 发现更多的调节变量, 并将其与中介机制相联系, 深入探讨解释水平影响自我控制的机制。

5 评价与展望

现有研究从解释水平理论的角度对自我控制提出了新的定义, 并且提出高解释水平会促进自我控制的观点, 在自我控制的研究中开辟出了一个新的领域, 并且这个新领域可以为如自我耗竭理论等自我控制理论提供心理机制方面的解释, 拓宽了现有自我控制理论的视野, 有助于完善自我控制的相关理论。此外, 解释水平与自我控制的研究提出了改善自我控制的可能手段并探讨了边界条件, 这是现有自我控制研究中比较缺乏的。而且, 相较于补充缺乏明确定义的“心理资源”, 改变解释水平更易操作, 例如可以通过对抽象思维的训练来提高自我控制能力。但是, 需要注意的是解释水平理论并不是解释所有自我控制问题的万灵药, 有些自我控制的失败并没有高解释水平和低解释水平相冲突的情景(Fujita, 2008), 在这种情况下解释水平就不能解释自我控制失败的原因。此外, 该领域的研究并非十分成熟, 需要更多的研究进行探索与验证。

5.1 拓展内部机制研究

首先, 心理机制和生理机制的研究还需补充。在心理机制方面, 现有关于解释水平影响自我控制的中介机制研究很少, 大多是将解释水平视为一种心理机制, 考察其他变量对自我控制的影响, 如解释水平是情绪(Fujita et al., 2006)或心理资源耗竭(Wan & Agrawal, 2011)影响自我控制的心理机制之一。还需要更多的研究对其可能的心理机制进行验证和补充, 从而更加明确解释水平是如何影响自我控制的。例如调节匹配(regulator fit)可能是解释水平影响自我控制的一个中介机制。调节匹配是指个体的调节定向(regulatory focus)与完成任务策略匹配, 调节定向包括促进定向(promotion focus)和预防定向(prevention focus)。研究发现高解释水平与促进定向有关, 低解释水平与预防定向有关(Lee, Keller, & Sternthal, 2010), 而当个体的调节定向与完成自我控制任务策略匹配时, 即调节匹配时个体的自我控制水平会提高(Hong & Lee, 2008)。此外, 现有研究大多割裂性地探索解释水平影响自我控制的调节和中介变量, 很少有研究将这两者进行整合, 如任务难度是否会调节解释水平与对诱惑态度之间的关系, 对于有难度的任务, 高解释水平才会降低对诱惑的评价从而提升自我控制。

在生理机制方面, 还没有直接针对解释水平影响自我控制的神经机制研究, 依据前人研究推测, 高解释水平的激活可能会与前额叶区域以及右侧额下回相联系, 这些区域与抽象思维和行为控制有关, 如前额叶区域涉及延迟满足过程中的认知控制(Heatherton & Wagner, 2011), 而右侧额下回参与个体抑制反应(Casey et al., 2011); 而低解释水平的激活可能会与边缘系统或大脑情绪区以及纹状体和脑岛的腹前侧区域有关, 因边缘系统或大脑情绪区与即时性选择有关(Heatherton & Wagner, 2011), 纹状体和脑岛则参与对延迟奖励的评估, 当个体选择即时奖励时, 两脑区的腹前侧区域被激活, 而选择延迟奖励时, 其背后侧区域被激活(Plichta et al., 2009)。总之, 未来研究还需要更细致深入地探讨解释水平影响自我控制的心理机制和生理基础。

5.2 多样化地操纵解释水平

在操纵解释水平方面, 鲜少有自我控制的研究通过操纵心理距离来启动不同的解释水平。现有研究中大多是通过原因/手段任务以及上下文概念任务来操纵解释水平, 这些方法本质上是启动了被试的抽象思维或具体思维, 区别于心理距离上的操纵。这可能是由于心理距离的操纵方法缺乏标准化, 且与情境联系密切, 因而不同的研究者使用的方法也不同。多样化操纵解释水平的方法可见李雁晨等人的综述(李雁晨, 周庭锐, 周琇, 2009)。

但是心理距离又是非常重要的变量, 尤其是对于自我控制的研究。心理距离包含时间距离、空间距离、假设性和社会距离四个维度(Trope et al., 2007), 其中时间维度是与自我控制联系最紧密的维度。许多自我控制行为都体现出了短期小回报和长期大收获之间的冲突。时间折扣和延迟满足是最直接体现时间维度的自我控制类型, 而对于健康行为也是面临立即诱惑和长期回报之间的冲突, 如吃不健康食品或者不坚持运动可以获得短期内的舒适感和愉悦感, 但不利于长期健康。直接操纵时间距离或者检验被试对时间距离感知的变化有助于厘清解释水平对自我控制的作用机制。

5.3 拓展研究的外部效度

现有关于解释水平与自我控制的研究大多在实验室内展开, 缺乏现场实验。相比于“纯净”的实验室环境, 现实生活中外部刺激是复杂多变的, 这就意味着个体在完成需要自我控制的任务时会面临多重干扰, 在这种条件下高解释水平是否仍能显著促进自我控制还有待探讨。

此外, 未来研究也需要关注解释水平影响自我控制的时效性。现有研究基本上都是探讨解释水平对自我控制的暂时性影响, 但完成一个如健康饮食或戒烟等长期任务需要连续不断的自我控制, 高解释水平是否可以长期影响自我控制还需要更多研究的关注。未来研究可以在实验室实验完成一段时间之后, 追踪个体的行为变化, 也可以展开如日记研究等纵向追踪方法考察解释水平对自我控制的长期影响。对生态效度和效应时效性的关注有助于提高研究的应用价值, 从而切实依据解释水平的研究结果促进个体的自我控制。

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
作者已声明无竞争性利益关系。

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Construal levels and self-control

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90( 3), 351-367.

URL     PMID:3153425      [本文引用: 8]

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.

Gailliot M. T., Baumeister R. F., DeWall C. N., Maner J. K., Plant E. A., Tice D. M., .. Schmeichel B. J . ( 2007).

Self-control relies on glucose as a limited energy source: Willpower is more than a metaphor

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92( 2), 325-336.

URL     PMID:17279852      [本文引用: 1]

Abstract The present work suggests that self-control relies on glucose as a limited energy source. Laboratory tests of self-control (i.e., the Stroop task, thought suppression, emotion regulation, attention control) and of social behaviors (i.e., helping behavior, coping with thoughts of death, stifling prejudice during an interracial interaction) showed that (a) acts of self-control reduced blood glucose levels, (b) low levels of blood glucose after an initial self-control task predicted poor performance on a subsequent self-control task, and (c) initial acts of self-control impaired performance on subsequent self-control tasks, but consuming a glucose drink eliminated these impairments. Self-control requires a certain amount of glucose to operate unimpaired. A single act of self-control causes glucose to drop below optimal levels, thereby impairing subsequent attempts at self-control. ((c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

Goto T., & Kusum, T. ( 2013).

How can reward contribute to efficient self-control? Reinforcement of task-defined responses diminishes ego-depletion

Motivation and Emotion, 37( 4), 726-732.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Hamilton R., Vohs K. D., Sellier A. L., & Meyvis T . ( 2011).

Being of two minds: Switching mindsets exhausts self-regulatory resources

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115( 1), 13-24.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

The human psyche is equipped with the capacity to solve problems using different mental states or mindsets. Different mindsets can lead to different judgment and decision making styles, each associated with its own perspective and biases. To change perspective, people can, and often do, switch mindsets. We argue, however, that mindset switching can be costly for subsequent decisions. We propose that mindset switching is an executive function that relies on the same psychological resource that governs other acts of executive functioning, including self-regulation. This implies that there are psychic costs to switching mindsets that are borne out in depleted executive resources. One implication of this framework is that switching mindsets should render people more likely to fail at subsequent self-regulation than they would if maintaining a consistent mindset. The findings from experiments that manipulated mindset switching in five domains support this model.

Han D., Duhachek A., & Agrawal N . ( 2014).

Emotions shape decisions through construal level: The case of guilt and shame

Journal of Consumer Research, 41( 4), 1047-1064.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Haws K. L., Bearden W. O., & Nenkov G. Y . ( 2012).

Consumer spending self-control effectiveness and outcome elaboration prompts

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40( 5), 695-710.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Heatherton T. F., & Wagner, D. D . ( 2011).

Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure

Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15( 3), 132-139.

URL     PMID:21273114      [本文引用: 2]

Abstract Self-regulatory failure is a core feature of many social and mental health problems. Self-regulation can be undermined by failures to transcend overwhelming temptations, negative moods and resource depletion, and when minor lapses in self-control snowball into self-regulatory collapse. Cognitive neuroscience research suggests that successful self-regulation is dependent on top-down control from the prefrontal cortex over subcortical regions involved in reward and emotion. We highlight recent neuroimaging research on self-regulatory failure, the findings of which support a balance model of self-regulation whereby self-regulatory failure occurs whenever the balance is tipped in favor of subcortical areas, either due to particularly strong impulses or when prefrontal function itself is impaired. Such a model is consistent with recent findings in the cognitive neuroscience of addictive behavior, emotion regulation and decision-making. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Henderson M. D., Wakslak C. J., Fujita K., & Rohrbach J . ( 2011).

Construal level theory and spatial distance

Social Psychology, 42( 3), 165-173.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Growing evidence points to a bidirectional relationship between spatial distance and level of mental representation, whereby distant (vs. near) events are represented by a higher level of representation, and higher levels of representations increase perceptions of distance. In the current article, we review research that establishes this association and explores its implications. We begin by briefly describing construal level theory, the theoretical framework that gives rise to this associative prediction, and then review a set of theory-consistent findings that serve to illuminate the way that spatial distance influences cognition and behavior and the way in which people make judgments about spatial distance. Finally, we discuss open questions for future research on spatial distance using a construal level theory approach.

Hong J., & Lee, A. Y . ( 2008).

Be fit and be strong: Mastering self-regulation through regulatory fit

Journal of Consumer Research, 34( 5), 682-695.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

This research examines the effect of regulatory fit on self‐regulation. People experience regulatory fit when their strategy of goal pursuit fits (vs. conflicts) with their regulatory focus. Four experiments provide support for the hypothesis that regulatory fit improves whereas regulatory nonfit impairs self‐regulatory performance. These results were obtained across multiple self‐regulatory tasks that included a handgrip exercise to test physical endurance (experiment 1), a choice between a healthy and a decadent snack to test willpower in the face of temptation (experiments 2 and 3), and a health‐related compliance decision to demonstrate self‐regulation (experiment 4). Intensified motivation seems to be the mechanism underlying the regulatory fit effect.

Hu J., & Maglio, S. ( 2016, January).

Construal level and temporal distance: Revisiting this relationship using subjective time format

Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, Anaheim, CA.

[本文引用: 1]

Inzlicht M., & Schmeichel, B. J . ( 2012).

What is ego depletion? Toward a mechanistic revision of the resource model of self-control

Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7( 5), 450-463.

URL     PMID:26168503      [本文引用: 1]

According to the resource model of self-control, overriding one's predominant response tendencies consumes and temporarily depletes a limited inner resource. Over 100 experiments have lent support to this model of ego depletion by observing that acts of self-control at Time 1 reduce performance on subsequent, seemingly unrelated self-control tasks at Time 2. The time is now ripe, therefore, not only to broaden the scope of the model but to start gaining a precise, mechanistic account of it. Accordingly, in the current article, the authors probe the particular cognitive, affective, and motivational mechanics of self-control and its depletion, asking, "What is ego depletion?" This study proposes a process model of depletion, suggesting that exerting self-control at Time 1 causes temporary shifts in both motivation and attention that undermine self-control at Time 2. The article highlights evidence in support of this model but also highlights where evidence is lacking, thus providing a blueprint for future research. Though the process model of depletion may sacrifice the elegance of the resource metaphor, it paints a more precise picture of ego depletion and suggests several nuanced predictions for future research.

Kim J., Lee S., & Rua T . ( 2015).

Feeling depleted and powerless: The construal-level mechanism

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41( 4), 599-609.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Krause K., & Freund, A. M . ( 2016).

It’s in the means: Process focus helps against procrastination in the academic context

Motivation and Emotion, 40( 3), 422-437.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Lee A. Y., Keller P. A., & Sternthal B . ( 2010).

Value from regulatory construal fit: The persuasive impact of fit between consumer goals and message concreteness

Journal of Consumer Research, 36( 5), 735-747.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Liberman N., & Förster, J. ( 2009).

Distancing from experienced self: How global-versus-local perception affects estimation of psychological distance

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97( 2), 203-216.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Liberman N., Trope Y., McCrea S. M., & Sherman S. J . ( 2007).

The effect of level of construal on the temporal distance of activity enactment

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43( 1), 143-149.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

A series of four studies demonstrates that, across different operationalizations of level of construal, different types of activities, and for both the self and another person as targets, construing activities in high-level terms fosters perception of the more distal future as appropriate for their enactment. Specifically, the studies show that thinking about superordinate “why” (rather than subordinate “how”) aspects of actions, about the implications of actions for one’s personality (rather than the objects that would be used in performing the action), and about abstract (rather than concrete) aspects of actions leads people to expect the actions to be performed in the more distant future. These results suggest that the association of level of construal and time perspective is bi-directional, in that time perspective affects level of construal and, in addition, level of construal affects time perspective.

Lyu R. W., Lai C., & Liu J . ( 2017).

The role of ego depletion in goal pursuit: A construal-level perspective

Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 45( 7), 1143-1156.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Goals are related to many interpersonal processes. As one of the cognitive representations of...

MacGregor K. E., Carnevale J. J., Dusthimer N. E., & Fujita K . ( 2017).

Knowledge of the self-control benefits of high-level versus low-level construal

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112( 4), 607-620.

URL     PMID:28080098      [本文引用: 1]

Abstract Research indicates that inducing high-level construal (processing that highlights invariant, essential features) relative to low-level construal (processing that highlights idiosyncratic, peripheral features) promotes self-control (Fujita & Carnevale, 2012). In the present work, we investigate to what extent people recognize the self-control benefits of high-level construal, and explore the consequences of this knowledge. Studies 1 and 2 provide initial evidence that individuals are aware that high-level relative to low-level construal promotes self-control in the dieting domain. Studies 3 and 4 find that individual differences in this knowledge predict self-control success outcomes (i.e., body mass index) among those who are motivated by dieting goals. Examining academics as a domain of self-control, Study 5 demonstrates that those with higher knowledge of construal level's impact on self-control earned higher end-of-semester grades to the extent that they were motivated to do well academically. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

Magen E., & Gross, J. J . ( 2007).

Harnessing the need for immediate gratification: Cognitive reconstrual modulates the reward value of temptations

Emotion, 7( 2), 415-428.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Malkoc S. A., Zauberman G., & Bettman J. R . ( 2010).

Unstuck from the concrete: Carryover effects of abstract mindsets in intertemporal preferences

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 113( 2), 112-126.

URL     [本文引用: 2]

Prior research has demonstrated that individuals show decreasing levels of impatience as the delay of consumption gets longer (i.e., present-bias). We examine the psychological underpinnings of such present-biased preferences by conceptualizing timing decisions as part of a series of judgments. We propose that shifts in the abstractness of processing (focusing on details vs. broad aspects) triggered by aspects of an earlier (related or unrelated) decision systematically influence the degree of present-bias in subsequent decisions. The results of five studies show that the processing mindset (concrete vs. abstract) evoked in previous related and unrelated decisions influences the level of construal evoked in subsequent decisions and moderates the extent of present-bias without changes in affect. We further show the default mindset is concrete (displaying high present-bias) and thus the effect of construal is eliminated when the subsequent intertemporal task is inherently more abstract.

McCrea S. M., Liberman N., Trpe Y., & Sherman S. J . ( 2008).

Construal level and procrastination

Psychological Science, 19( 12), 1308-1314.

URL     [本文引用: 2]

Metcalfe J., & Mischel, W. ( 1999).

A hot/cool-system analysis of delay of gratification: Dynamics of willpower

Psychological Review, 106( 1), 3-19.

URL     PMID:10197361      [本文引用: 1]

A 2-system framework is proposed for understanding the processes that enable--and undermine--self-control or "willpower" as exemplified in the delay of gratification paradigm. A cool, cognitive "know" system and a hot, emotional "go" system are postulated. The cool system is cognitive, emotionally neutral, contemplative, flexible, integrated, coherent, spatiotemporal, slow, episodic, and strategic. It is the seat of self-regulation and self-control. The hot system is the basis of emotionality, fears as well as passions--impulsive and reflexive--initially controlled by innate releasing stimuli (and, thus, literally under "stimulus control"): it is fundamental for emotional (classical) conditioning and undermines efforts at self-control. The balance between the hot and cool systems is determined by stress, developmental level, and the individual's self-regulatory dynamics. The interactions between these systems allow explanation of findings on willpower from 3 decades of research.

Mischel W., & Ebbesen, E. B . ( 1970).

Attention in delay of gratification

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16( 2), 329-337.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Abstract Explored the role of attentional processes in voluntary delay of reward by manipulating children's attention to the rewards for which they were waiting in a delay-of-gratification paradigm. 32 preschool children waited for a preferred but delayed reward while facing either the delayed reward, a less preferred but immediately available reward, both rewards, or no rewards. The dependent measure was the amount of time they waited for the preferred outcome before forfeiting it for the sake of the less desired but immediately available one. Results contradict predictions from psychodynamic theory and from speculations concerning self-instructions during time binding. Unexpectedly, but in accord with frustrative nonreward theory, voluntary waiting time was substantially increased when Ss could not attend to rewards during the waiting period. Implications are discussed for a theory of the development of delay of gratification. (22 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Nenkov G. Y., Haws K. L ., & Kim, M. J. M. ( 2014).

Fluency in future focus optimizing outcome elaboration strategies for effective self-control

Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5( 7), 769-776.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Plichta M. M., Vasic N., Wolf R. C., Lesch K. P., Brummer D., Jacob C., … Grön G . ( 2009).

Neural hyporesponsiveness and hyperresponsiveness during immediate and delayed reward processing in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Biological Psychiatry, 65( 1), 7-14.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Price M., Higgs S., & Lee M . ( 2016).

Snack intake is reduced using an implicit, high-level construal cue

Health Psychology, 35( 8), 923-937.

URL     PMID:27505217      [本文引用: 1]

Abstract Objectives: Priming a high level construal has been shown to enhance self-control and reduce preference for indulgent food. Subtle visual cues have been shown to enhance the effects of a priming procedure. The current study therefore examined the combined impact of construal level and a visual cue reminder on the consumption of energy-dense snacks. Method: A student and community-based adult sample with a wide age and body mass index (BMI) range (N = 176) were randomly assigned to a high or low construal condition in which a novel symbol was embedded. Afterward participants completed a taste test of ad libitum snack foods in the presence or absence of the symbol. Results: The high (vs. the low) construal level prime successfully generated more abstract responses (p < .0001) and reduced intake when the cue-reminder was present (p = .02) but not when it was absent (p = .40). Conclusions: Priming high construal level thinking reduces consumption of high energy dense snacks in the presence of a visual cue-reminder. This may be a practical technique for reducing overeating and has the potential to be extended to other unhealthy behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record

Pronin E., Olivola C. Y., & Kennedy K. A . ( 2008).

Doing unto future selves as you would do unto others: Psychological distance and decision making

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34( 2), 224-236.

URL     [本文引用: 2]

Roberts, J. C . ( 2011).

Construal level and prospective self-control

(Unpublished doctorial dissertation). The Ohio State University.

[本文引用: 2]

Rogers T., & Bazerman, M. H . ( 2008).

Future lock-in: Future implementation increases selection of ‘should’ choices

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 106( 1), 1-20.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Ronteltap A., Sijtsema S. J., Dagevos H ., & de Winter, M. A. ( 2012).

Construal levels of healthy eating. Exploring consumers’ interpretation of health in the food context

Appetite, 59( 2), 333-340.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Rummel J., Einstein G. O., & Rampey H . ( 2012).

Implementation-intention encoding in a prospective memory task enhances spontaneous retrieval of intentions

Memory, 20( 8), 803-817.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Schmeichel B. J., & Vohs, K. ( 2009).

Self-affirmation and self-control: Affirming core values counteracts ego depletion

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96( 4), 770-782.

URL     PMID:19309201      [本文引用: 3]

Abstract Research has established that acts of self-control deplete a resource required for subsequent self-control tasks. The present investigation revealed that a psychological intervention-self-affirmation-facilitates self-control when the resource has been depleted. Experiments 1 and 2 found beneficial effects of self-affirmation on self-control in a depleted state. Experiments 3 and 4 suggested that self-affirmation improves self-control by promoting higher levels (vs. lower levels) of mental construal. Self-affirmation therefore holds promise as a mental strategy that reduces the likelihood of self-control failure. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

Schmeichel B. J., Vohs K. D., & Duke S. C . ( 2010).

Self-control at high and low levels of mental construal

Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2( 2), 182-189.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

The present experiment tested the hypothesis that low-level construals--a known contributor to self-control failure--can improve self-control under some circumstances. In support of this hypothesis, the authors found evidence that low-level construals (relative to high-level construals) improve performance on a measure of response inhibition that requires close attention and responsiveness to the immediate environment--the stop signal task (SST). They also found evidence, consistent with previous research, that high-level construals (relative to low-level construals) improve performance on a modified version of the SST (i.e., the delay SST) that requires both response inhibition and goal maintenance in working memory. These results suggest that, depending on the nature of the task, either low-level construals or high-level construals can enhance self-control.

Shmueli D., & Prochaska, J. J . ( 2012).

A test of positive affect induction for countering self-control depletion in cigarette smokers

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26( 1), 157-161.

URL     PMID:3192287      [本文引用: 1]

The self-control strength model posits that exerting self-control on one task, such as resisting temptations, will deplete self-control and impair subsequent self-regulatory performance, such as controlling smoking. The current study examined interventions designed to replenish depleted self-control strength to prevent tobacco use by inducing positive affect. In a 2 2 design, 200 participants were randomized to either (1) resist eating from a plate of desserts (high temptation) or from a plate of raw vegetables (low temptation) and then (2) undergo a positive or neutral affect induction. Two inductions were compared (video vs. writing technique). Participants were then given a 10-min recess. Whether or not participants smoked during the recess, assessed by self-report and biochemical verification, served as the primary dependent variable. The interaction between depletion and exposure group was significant, Wald's = 9.66, df = 3, p < .05. Among those assigned to resist desserts, 65.5% to 85% smoked if they were in the neutral video or writing conditions versus 10.5% in the positive affect video group. Positive affect elicited with a video was able to counteract the detrimental effects of self-control depletion on smoking behavior, while writing exercises were associated with smoking. Implications for tobacco cessation intervention are discussed.

Sweeney A. M., & Freitas, A. L . ( 2014).

Relating action to abstract goals increases physical activity reported a week later

Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15( 4), 364-373.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

61We test the effect of abstract versus concrete mindsets on physical activity.61Level of goal conflict and affect were tested as potential moderators.61An abstract mindset increased physical activity more so than a concrete mindset.61Level of goal conflict did not impact physical activity.61Negative affect helps to explain how abstract thinking impacts physical activity.

Terada M., ( 2017).

Effect of individual differences in construal level on procrastination: moderating role of intelligence theories

Psychology, 8( 4), 74582.

[本文引用: 2]

Trope Y., & Liberman, N. ( 2003).

Temporal construal

Psychological Review, 110( 3), 403-421.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Trope Y., & Liberman, N. ( 2010).

Construal-level theory of psychological distance

Psychological Review, 117( 2), 440-463.

URL     PMID:20438233      [本文引用: 1]

People are capable of thinking about the future, the past, remote locations, another person's perspective, and counterfactual alternatives. Without denying the uniqueness of each process, it is proposed that they constitute different forms of traversing psychological distance. Psychological distance is egocentric: Its reference point is the self in the here and now, and the different ways in which an object might be removed from that point-in time, in space, in social distance, and in hypotheticality-constitute different distance dimensions. Transcending the self in the here and now entails mental construal, and the farther removed an object is from direct experience, the higher (more abstract) the level of construal of that object. Supporting this analysis, research shows (a) that the various distances are cognitively related to each other, (b) that they similarly influence and are influenced by level of mental construal, and (c) that they similarly affect prediction, preference, and action.

Trope Y., Liberman N., & Wakslak C . ( 2007).

Construal levels and psychological distance: Effects on representation, prediction, evaluation, and behavior

Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17( 2), 83-95.

URL     [本文引用: 4]

Vallacher R. R., & Wegner, D. M . ( 1989).

Levels of personal agency: Individual variation in action identification

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57( 4), 660-671.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

What factors influence our understanding of metaphoric statements about time? By examining the interpretation of one such statement – namely,Next Wednesday’s meeting has been moved forward by two days –earlier research has demonstrated that people may draw on spatial perspectives, involving multiple spatially based temporal reference strategies, to interpret metaphoric statements about time (e.g.Boroditsky 2000;Kranjec 2006;McGlone and Harding 1998;Nú09ez et al.2006). However, what is still missing is an understanding of the role of linguistic factors in the interpretation of temporal statements such as this one. In this paper, we examine the linguistic properties of this famous temporally ambiguous utterance, considered as an instantiation of a more schematic construction. In Experiment 1, we examine the roles of individual lexical items that are used in the utterance in order to better understand the interplay of lexical semantics and constructional meaning in the context of a metaphoric statement. Following up on prior suggestions in the literature, we ask whether the locus of the ambiguity is centred on the adverb, centred on the verb, or distributed across the utterance. The results suggest that the final interpretation results from an interplay of verb and adverb, suggesting a distributed temporal semantics analogous to the distributed semantics noted for the metaphoric source domain of space (Sinha and Kuteva 1995) and consistent with a constructional view of language (Goldberg 2003). In Experiment 2, we expand the linguistic factors under investigation to include voice and person. The findings suggest that grammatical person, but not grammatical voice, may also influence the interpretation of theNext Wednesday’s meetingmetaphor. Taken together, the results of these two studies illuminate the interplay of lexical and constructional factors in the interpretation of temporal metaphors.

van Beek J., Handgraaf M. J. J., & Antonides G . ( 2017).

Time orientation and construal level: Effects on eating and exercising behaviour and preferences

International Journal of Consumer Studies, 41( 1), 54-60.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Abstract Eating and exercising behaviour are both characterized by immediate and future consequences. Consequently, consideration of these consequences (i.e., time orientation) predicts eating and exercising behaviour. We investigate whether construal level acts as an underlying mechanism of these relations. Students (N = 101) completed measures of consideration of immediate and future consequences (i.e., CFC-food and CFC-exercise), construal level, eating and exercising behaviour and preferences. For self-reported eating and exercising behaviour, only direct effects of consideration of immediate and future consequences were found. For eating preferences, however, there was evidence of an indirect effect through construal level. A stronger tendency to consider future consequences led to a stronger preference for utilitarian (as compared to hedonic) food products through a more abstract construal level. All in all, construal level partially explains the differential relations between consideration of immediate and future consequences and eating and exercising behaviour and preferences. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Verbruggen F., & Logan, G. D . ( 2009).

Models of response inhibition in the stop-signal and stop-change paradigms

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 33( 5), 647-661.

URL     PMID:2696813     

The stop-signal paradigm is very useful for the study of response inhibition. Stop-signal performance is typically described as a race between a go process, triggered by a go stimulus, and a stop process, triggered by the stop signal. Response inhibition depends on the relative finishing time of these two processes. Numerous studies have shown that the independent horse-race model of Logan and Cowan [Logan, G.D., Cowan, W.B., 1984. On the ability to inhibit thought and action: a theory of an act of control. Psychological Review 91, 295–327] accounts for the data very well. In the present article, we review the independent horse-race model and related models, such as the interactive horse-race model [Boucher, L., Palmeri, T.J., Logan, G.D., Schall, J.D., 2007. Inhibitory control in mind and brain: an interactive race model of countermanding saccades. Psychological Review 114, 376–397]. We present evidence that favors the independent horse-race model but also some evidence that challenges the model. We end with a discussion of recent models that elaborate the role of a stop process in inhibiting a response.

Volokhov R. N., & Demaree, H. A . ( 2010).

Spontaneous emotion regulation to positive and negative stimuli

Brain and Cognition, 73( 1), 1-6.

URL     PMID:20347515      [本文引用: 1]

The ability to regulate one emotions is an integral part of human social behavior. One antecedent emotion regulation strategy, known as reappraisal, is characterized by cognitively evaluating an emotional stimulus to alter its emotional impact and one response-focused strategy, suppression, is aimed at reducing behavioral output. People are capable of using these specific emotion regulation strategies when instructed to do so; however, it is equally important to investigate natural and self-selected strategy use. This study was designed to determine to what extent people spontaneously regulate their emotions and the emotion regulation strategies they choose to achieve their regulatory goals. Participants were given no instructions to regulate their emotions before they were shown a negative and a positive film clip, but were instead asked afterwards about the specific strategies that they had used. Participants reported regulating their emotions more to the negative film than to the positive film. Reappraisal was more frequently selected as an emotion regulation strategy than suppression. As expected, participants with high baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) adopted reappraisal strategies more than those with low RSA but, surprisingly, RSA was not associated with facial expressivity. Suggestions for future research in this relatively young field of spontaneous emotion regulation are offered.

Wan E. W., & Agrawal, N. ( 2011).

Carryover effects of self-control on decision making: A construal-level perspective

Journal of Consumer Research, 38( 1), 199-214.

URL     [本文引用: 2]

Watkins E., Moberly N. J., & Moulds M. L . ( 2008).

Processing mode causally influences emotional reactivity: Distinct effects of abstract versus concrete construal on emotional response

Emotion, 8( 3), 364-378.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

Wieber F., Sezer L. A., & Gollwitzer P. M . ( 2014).

Asking “why” helps action control by goals but not plans

Motivation and Emotion, 38( 1), 65-78.

URL     [本文引用: 1]

The present research investigated whether asking “why” concerning the pursuit of one goal can affect the subsequent pursuit of a previously chosen goal. Asking “why” should activate cognitive procedures involving deliberation over the pros and cons of a goal (why-mindset). This mode of thinking should spill over to subsequently pursued goals, with different consequences for goal striving guided by goal intentions and for goal striving guided by implementation intentions (if-then plans). As goal intentions guide behavior by effortful top-down action control processes motivated by the expected value of the desired outcomes, being in a why-mindset should induce defensive postdecisional deliberation and thereby promote goal pursuit. In contrast, implementation intentions guide behavior by automatic bottom-up action control processes triggered by the specified situational cues; in this case, being in a why-mindset should eliminate the effects implementation intentions have on goal pursuit. Performance on a handgrip self-control task (Study 1) as well as on a dual-task (simultaneous go/no-go task and tracking tasks; Study 2) supported these predictions: why-mindsets reinforced goal intention effects and impaired implementation intention effects on handgrip and dual-task performance. Implications for effective goal striving are discussed.

Yi R., Stuppy-Sullivan A., Pickover A., & Landes R. D . ( 2017).

Impact of construal level manipulations on delay discounting

PLoS One, 12( 5), e0177240.

URL     PMID:28542259      [本文引用: 1]

Construal Level Theory states that psychologically proximal outcomes are construed concretely while psychologically distal outcomes are construed abstractly. Previous research suggests that the principles of Construal Level Theory can be applied to enhance self-control, as measured by delay discounting. The present studies replicate and expand on this work by examining whether theory-informed priming manipulations lead to delay discounting reductions in a repeated-measures design. Study 1 conceptually replicated previous work, with reduced delay discounting observed as a function of thinking abstractly. Studies 2 and 3 expanded on this work by reinterpreting (a) preference for immediate outcomes as preference for outcomes that are construed concretely, and (b) dispreference for delayed outcomes as dispreference for outcomes that are construed abstractly. Study 2 provided support for the first interpretation, as reduced delay discounting was observed as a function of thinking concretely about the future. Study 3 provided support for the second interpretation, as reduced delay discounting was observed as a function of thinking abstractly about the present. In studies 1 and 3, significant condition order interactions were observed. In all three studies, the same impact of order of exposure to priming manipulation was observed, indicating specific carryover effects.

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