ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (10): 1878-1889.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01878

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The effect of construal levels on self-control

ZHANG Yue1,2, DOU Donghui1(), XIN Ziqiang1   

  1. 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
  • Received:2017-05-02 Online:2018-10-15 Published:2018-08-27
  • Contact: DOU Donghui


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.

Key words: construal level, self-control, psychological distance