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