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When Does a Higher Construal Level Increase or Decrease Indulgence? Resolving the Myopia versus Hyperopia Puzzle

Ravi Mehta, Rui (Juliet) Zhu and Joan Meyers-Levy

Journal of Consumer Research, 2014, vol. 41, issue 2, 475 - 488

Abstract: Existing inquiry on self-control reveals an inconsistency. The mainstream research on myopic behavior suggests that consumers' use of a high versus low construal level should lead them to exhibit less indulgence. However, more recent work on hyperopia implies the opposite. This research attempts to resolve this discrepancy. In particular, it is proposed and demonstrated that the level at which a consumer construes information (i.e., abstract vs. concrete), interacts with his or her self-focus, and both factors jointly determine a consumer's indulgence level. When the self is not salient, outcomes implied by the myopia literature ensue. But when the self is focal, the opposite outcomes anticipated by the hyperopia literature obtain.

Date: 2014
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