An examination of the processes by which construal level affects the implicit evaluation of goal relevant stimuli.
Previous research has found that construal level—how abstractly or concretely people represent events—can impact implicit evaluations. Abstract high-level construal (vs. concrete low-level construal) promotes evaluative responses consistent with global (strongly held, long-term) rather than local (short-term, situational) goals. It remains unclear by what cognitive process(es) this occurs. In this paper, we examine two possibilities. High-level construal might enhance the unintended influence of activated evaluative associations or facilitate the detection and implementation of intentional responses. To examine these possibilities, the current study applies a multinomial processing tree model to data from Fujita and Han (2009). Results suggest that high-level construal facilitates goal-consistent evaluations by increasing both the unintentional influence of activated goal-consistent positive associations and the intentional detection of and implementation of accurate responding to goal-relevant stimuli. These findings extend our understanding of how construal level promotes goal consistent evaluations.