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Sniffnoy comments on How to Beat Procrastination - Less Wrong

156 Post author: lukeprog 05 February 2011 06:49PM

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Comment author: Sniffnoy 06 February 2011 07:51:25AM 2 points [-]

Are temporal construal theory and construal level theory the same thing?

Comment author: Procrastinus 06 February 2011 11:29:22PM 6 points [-]

Thought you might like to see David Hume outlining the basics of construal theory about 300 years earlier. Here he is reflecting on how the nearby and concrete always seems to supersede the long-term and abstract:

“In reflecting on any action which I am to perform a twelvemonth hence, I always resolve to prefer the greater good, whether at that time it will be more contiguous or remote; nor does any difference in that particular make a difference in my present intentions and resolutions. My distance from the final determination makes all those minute differences vanish, nor am I affected by anything but the general and more discernible qualities of good and evil. But on my nearer approach, those circumstances which I at first overlooked begin to appear, and have an influence on my conduct and affections. A new inclination to the present good springs up, and makes it difficult for me to adhere inflexibly to my first purpose and resolution. This natural infirmity I may very much regret, and I may endeavour, by all possible means, to free myself from it.”

Comment author: Unnamed 06 February 2011 08:43:05AM 4 points [-]

Yes. "Temporal construal theory" was the earlier name that Trope & Lieberman used when they were more focused on temporal distance, but they switched to "construal level theory" in recognition of the fact that there are many other factors that influence psychological distance. You can see that the abstract of the linked article on temporal construal begins:

Construal level theory proposes that temporal distance changes people’s responses to future events by changing the way people mentally represent those events. The greater the temporal distance, the more likely are events to be represented in terms of a few abstract features that convey the perceived essence of the events (high-level construals) rather than in terms of more concrete and incidental details of the events (low-level construals).

Comment author: Sniffnoy 06 February 2011 09:20:04AM 1 point [-]

Ah, OK. Good to know.