Influencing attitudes toward near and distant objects

Kentaro Fujita, Tal Eyal, Shelly Chaiken, Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


It is argued that the temporal distance of attitude objects systematically changes how the object is mentally represented, and thus influences the strength of particular persuasive appeals. Three experiments tested the hypothesis that people preferentially attend to arguments that highlight primary, abstract (high-level) vs. incidental, concrete (low-level) features when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near. Results suggested that when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near, arguments emphasizing primary vs. secondary features (Study 1), desirability vs. feasibility features (Study 2), and general classes vs. specific cases are more persuasive (Study 3). The relation of construal theory to dual process theories of persuasion and persuasion phenomena, such as personal relevance effects and functional matching effects, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-572
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Attitude change
  • Construal level theory
  • Mental construal
  • Persuasion
  • Temporal distance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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