Time will construe me : the fit effect of culture, temporal distance and construal level
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The present research examined how individuals’ cultural orientations influenced the relationship between their construal level and temporal distance. There were two studies in this research. Study 1 was composed of two parts. In the first part, the relationship between culture and construal level was examined through the Behavioral Identification Form (BIF). In the second part, the influence of culture on temporal distance and individuals’ construal level was investigated by analyzing participants’ descriptions of their lives. In study 2, the three-way interaction between culture, temporal distance, and the construal-level frame of persuasive messages (desirability vs. feasibility focused message) was investigated. A total of 200 students from two different countries (Korea and the U.S.) participated in the study. A fictitious brand and advertisement were created to examine the interaction. The findings revealed that individuals from an individualistic culture (U.S.) prefer abstract thinking to concrete thinking and focus more on the desirability than the feasibility of an event or object. And the reverse was true for individuals from a collectivistic culture (Korea). When individuals are in a proximal temporal condition, those from a collectivistic culture have a more proximal temporal perspective, and they are more likely to represent the future event in low-level terms. In contrast, individuals from an individualistic culture have a more distal temporal perspective and tend to represent the future event in high-level terms. Consistent results were found in an advertising context. When individuals from a collectivistic culture were in a proximal temporal condition, they tended to show a more favorable attitude toward the advertisement emphasizing the feasibility features of the product. The reverse was true for individuals from an individualistic culture.