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Looking into the Future: A Match between Self-View and Temporal Distance

Gerri Spassova and Angela Y. Lee
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 1 (June 2013), pp. 159-171
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/669145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/669145
Page Count: 13
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Looking into the Future: A Match between Self-View and Temporal Distance
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Abstract

Representing an event in abstract (vs. concrete) terms and as happening in the distant (vs. proximal) future has been shown to have important consequences for cognition and motivation. Less is known about factors that influence construal level and perceived temporal distance. The present research identifies one such factor and explores the implications for persuasion. Four studies show that an independent self-view is associated with abstract representations of future events and with perceiving these events as happening in the more distant future, whereas an interdependent self-view is associated with concrete representations of future events and with perceiving these events as happening in the more proximal future. Furthermore, a match (vs. mismatch) between the temporal frame of an advertisement and the self-view of the recipient leads to systematic changes in advertisement effectiveness and product appeal. These results add to the construal level theory and the self literatures and have practical implications for advertisers.

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