Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance (by N.Liberman. Y.Trope)



H. Lieberman’s, and J. Troup’s Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance is widely known in the English sources of social psychology. Wherein, it is used to explain various phenomena and cognitive memory research, perception and categorization. The review describes the basic tenets of the theory, concerning the relationship of psychological distance and the level of constructs. A brief description and basic key studies of different topics within the theory are included. The importance of the theory constructs at different levels of social cognition is stressed. Basic concepts of the theory are given to describe and explain various phenomena of social cognition. The key researches in the field of the theory are described to deal with such phenomena as the fundamental attribution error, the prediction of social events, behavioral intentions, self-control, goals and means of action. In conclusion, issues that remain unsolved at the present stage of development of the theory are discussed. The study was implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2016, and partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), grant 15-06-02233 A., “Automatic activation of actions with objects: control mechanisms and conditions of occurrence”.

General Information

Keywords: Construal-Level Theory, Psychological Distance, Categorization, Social Cognition

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Krivosheina I., Kotov A.A. Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance (by N.Liberman. Y.Trope). Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2016. Vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 5–18. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2016070401. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Irina Krivosheina, MSc Applied Social psychology, Department of Psychology, National Research University 'Higher School of Economics', Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Alexey A. Kotov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory for cognitive research, Department of Psychology,, National Research University 'Higher School of Economics, Sirius University of Science and Technology, Sochi, Russia, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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