High construal level reduces overoptimistic performance prediction

Jin Yan1, Songhui Hou2, Alexander Unger3
1School of Management, Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China
2NetEase, Inc., Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China
3Institute of International Management Studies, University of Applied Science Ludwigshafen, Germany
Cite this article:  Yan, J., Hou, S., & Unger, A. (2014). High construal level reduces overoptimistic performance prediction. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(8), 1303-1314.

Volume 42 Issue 8 | e3600 | Published: September 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.8.1303

Abstract
Full Text
References
Tables and Figures
Acknowledgements
Author Contact

Overoptimistic performance prediction is a very common feature of people’s goal-directed behavior. In this study we examined overoptimistic prediction as a function of construal level. In construal level theory an explanation is set out with regard to how people make predictions through the abstract connections between past and future events, with high-level construal bridging near and distant events. We conducted 2 experiments to confirm our hypothesis that, compared with people with local, concrete construals, people with global, abstract construals would make predictions that were less overoptimistic. In Study 1 we manipulated construal level by priming mindset, and participants (n = 81) predicted the level of their productivity in an anagram task. The results supported our hypothesis. In Study 2, in order to improve the generalizability of the conclusion, we varied the manipulation of the construal level by priming a scenario, and measured performance prediction by having the participants (n = 119) estimate task duration. The results showed that high-level construal consistently decreased overoptimistic prediction, supporting our hypothesis. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.

Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.