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as the fit from construal hypothesis.

Third, effective regulation of level of construal in response to situational demands is hypothesized to require good cognitive and central executive control. Thus, individuals with deficits in executive/inhibitory control, either because of greater cognitive load or reduced cognitive resources, would be impaired at effectively regulating level of construal in response to situational demands. (p. 194)

the hypothesis that level of construal …

Furthermore, it is as yet unresolved how much the shift in level of construal in response to situational demands (such as psychological distance, mood, or difficulty) is an automatic learned process or whether it requires deliberate, effortful control. This is an important point for future theoretical and empirical clarification. Construal theory () proposes that the relationship between psychological distance and level of construal is a learned bidirectional association. When objects are at a greater physical distance, individuals cannot see specific details of the object but only more abstract properties (e.g., at a great distance, individuals could recognize an object as a person but are unable to differentiate those specific features that would identify him or her as a particular individual). Construal theory hypothesizes that this relationship between distance and abstraction becomes overlearned and generalized to other situations. The logic of this analysis is that the shift in level of construal produced by changes in psychological distance should be relatively automatic and not require executive control. Consistent with this proposition, the construal theory literature has reliably demonstrated that the way information is framed and the way language is used can manipulate the level of construal adopted (). A similar argument could be made for the effects of mood or familiarity/difficulty on level of construal, particularly when there is potential positive reinforcement for this shift in level of construal if it helps to adaptively respond to circumstances. In contrast, the executive-control failure account () hypothesizes that shift in level of construal is predominantly determined by effortful control.

Construal level theory / smoss2 - Sicotests

Hypothesis 3: Relational self-construal will be positively associated with the number of words given in response to a question

The second key assumption relevant to elaborated control theory within this account is that shifts in level of construal require effortful executive control (e.g., , focused “specifically on Watkins’s perspective that executive control is necessary to match the level of construal to the demands of the situation” p. 190). Indeed, this hypothesis was explicitly articulated within the elaborated control theory (), albeit briefly:

suggested that one mechanism underpinning this hypothesis is that off-task thoughts are less likely to enter consciousness when the level of construal is more concrete because concrete construal will focus thoughts on immediate task demands and, thus, reduce the likelihood of off-task thoughts. Although this mechanism is plausible, it is important to recognize that it is possible to also have concrete thoughts that are off task such as being distracted by the immediate environment (e.g., looking out of the window when one is trying to write a paper). The other suggested mechanism of McVay and Kane that “an abstract level of construal allows for a large network of related concepts to be activated, increasing the number of off-task thoughts that are likely to be generated” (p. 190) is also plausible, especially as it is consistent with suggestions in control theory that processing at a higher level affords more alternative subgoals and behaviors to resolve the goal discrepancy (). Nonetheless, despite an extensive literature confirming that unresolved and blocked goals increase the priming and accessibility of goal-relevant information and the perseverance of goal-related thoughts (; ), to my knowledge there is not any evidence that different levels of abstraction of these goals influences the accessibility of goal-relevant information (e.g., off-task thoughts). Thus, there is an important untested assumption at the heart of this executive-control failure account with respect to whether level of construal influences the initial shift into consciousness of unresolved concerns. A key next step would be to seek empirical evidence for this hypothesis by examining the effect of manipulating level of construal of goals during studies of priming and accessibility of goal-relevant information.

Construal level might also affect the strategies that ..

Frazier and Clifton show that construal follows distinct principles, and they flesh out their hypothesis with previously unexamined evidence and new empirical tests.

AB - A large literature demonstrates that people process information more carefully in states of low compared to high confidence. This article presents an alternative hypothesis that either high or low confidence can increase or decrease information processing on the basis of how information is construed. Five experiments demonstrate two sets of findings supporting this alternative formulation. First, low confidence leads people to focus on concrete construals, whereas high confidence leads people to focus on abstract construals. Second, people in a state of low confidence view messages framed in a concrete manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed concretely; in contrast, people in a state of high confidence view messages framed in an abstract manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed abstractly. These results enrich the literature by providing a fundamental shift in understanding how psychological confidence influences information processing.

N2 - A large literature demonstrates that people process information more carefully in states of low compared to high confidence. This article presents an alternative hypothesis that either high or low confidence can increase or decrease information processing on the basis of how information is construed. Five experiments demonstrate two sets of findings supporting this alternative formulation. First, low confidence leads people to focus on concrete construals, whereas high confidence leads people to focus on abstract construals. Second, people in a state of low confidence view messages framed in a concrete manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed concretely; in contrast, people in a state of high confidence view messages framed in an abstract manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed abstractly. These results enrich the literature by providing a fundamental shift in understanding how psychological confidence influences information processing.

In line with Hypothesis 1a, physicians were more risk averse in the low construal level/gain frame condition than in the high construal level/gain frame condition
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Construal level theory - Wikipedia

N2 - Recent studies have indicated that cognitive complexity scores, based on the quantity of constructs embedded in written essays, correlate significantly with the total number of words contained in the response. As a consequence, a controversy involving whether loquacity rather than cognitive complexity has been measured by such scoring procedures has emerged. In this study (1) the premise is advanced that the quantity of constructs approach represents subjects' willingness to write rather than personal construct systems or construal processes, (2) loquacity is explained in terms of motivational variables rather than construal processes and (3) two separate studies test the motivational hypothesis. Results of study J indicate that subjects promised credit for rigor write more words and more constructs than did their non‐motivated counterparts. Moreover, the results of study 2 demonstrate that writing apprehension scores and self‐reports of situational motivation predict both loquacity and cognitive complexity scores. These findings support a motivational hypothesis regarding loquacity and raise serious questions concerning cognitive complexity measurement.

construal | Download eBook PDF/EPUB

AB - Recent studies have indicated that cognitive complexity scores, based on the quantity of constructs embedded in written essays, correlate significantly with the total number of words contained in the response. As a consequence, a controversy involving whether loquacity rather than cognitive complexity has been measured by such scoring procedures has emerged. In this study (1) the premise is advanced that the quantity of constructs approach represents subjects' willingness to write rather than personal construct systems or construal processes, (2) loquacity is explained in terms of motivational variables rather than construal processes and (3) two separate studies test the motivational hypothesis. Results of study J indicate that subjects promised credit for rigor write more words and more constructs than did their non‐motivated counterparts. Moreover, the results of study 2 demonstrate that writing apprehension scores and self‐reports of situational motivation predict both loquacity and cognitive complexity scores. These findings support a motivational hypothesis regarding loquacity and raise serious questions concerning cognitive complexity measurement.

and they flesh out their hypothesis with previously ..

Recent studies have indicated that cognitive complexity scores, based on the quantity of constructs embedded in written essays, correlate significantly with the total number of words contained in the response. As a consequence, a controversy involving whether loquacity rather than cognitive complexity has been measured by such scoring procedures has emerged. In this study (1) the premise is advanced that the quantity of constructs approach represents subjects' willingness to write rather than personal construct systems or construal processes, (2) loquacity is explained in terms of motivational variables rather than construal processes and (3) two separate studies test the motivational hypothesis. Results of study J indicate that subjects promised credit for rigor write more words and more constructs than did their non‐motivated counterparts. Moreover, the results of study 2 demonstrate that writing apprehension scores and self‐reports of situational motivation predict both loquacity and cognitive complexity scores. These findings support a motivational hypothesis regarding loquacity and raise serious questions concerning cognitive complexity measurement.

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