Vertical position is associated with construal level and psychological distance

Ravit Nussinson*, Yaron Elias, Einat Yosef-Nitzan, Sari Mentser, Maya Zadka, Zohar Weinstein, Nira Liberman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent findings suggest that stimulus construal level (high vs. low) is mentally associated with its vertical position (up vs. down). We delve deeper into this association and its meanings, and examine, for the first time, its complementary association, that of stimulus psychological distance (distant vs. close) and its vertical position (up vs. down). In Study 1 and 2 goals of activities were positioned higher than the means of performing them and were perceived as more compatible with a spatially higher viewpoint. In Study 3, self-perceptions were more invariant when items were presented at the top (vs. the bottom) of a visual display. In Study 4, participants positioned imagination-related concepts above reality-related concepts. In Study 5, participants provided more distant time estimates for scenarios presented at the top (vs. the bottom) of a display. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-655
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Construal level
  • Psychological distance
  • Vertical position

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