We suggest that there is an association in people's minds between the vertical position of a stimulus (up vs. down) and its construal level (high vs. low), which results in bi-directional effects between the dimensions. In Study 1, participants exhibited both implicit and explicit associations between the dimensions. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that stimulus construal level affects its vertical position, with participants showing a preference for positioning abstract concepts higher up and concrete concepts lower down. Study 4 testified to the effect of vertical positioning of information on its level of construal. Behaviors presented at the top of a display (more than those presented at the bottom) were construed in terms of why they are performed rather than how to perform them. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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- construal level
- vertical position