Ludwig Maximilian University post-doctoral researcher Dr. Eva Lermer gave a presentation on construal level theory at the AgeLab on May 24. Dr. Lermer spoke at the invitation of AgeLab researcher Dr. Martina Raue.
Construal level theory posits that the way people think about an object or event is influenced by their psychological distance from it. The further away something is from a person, whether spatially, temporally, or experientially, the more abstract their thoughts are in relation to it. For example, one thinks differently about an upcoming party when it is four weeks away (perhaps, "It will be nice to see friends and relax") than when it is 24 hours away (now, "What should I bring? What outfit should I wear? Should I arrive early or late?"). The theory has significant implications for how humans respond to a variety of situations, such as looking at unpleasant truths, reacting to social exclusion, considering future consequences, and handling risk.
Below: Dr. Martina Raue, left, and Dr. Eva Lermer.