The aim of this study is to examine the role of self-compassion in construing socially distant or near events within the framework of Construal Level Theory (CLT). It is hypothesized that as self-compassion scores increase, people who make decisions for themselves will give less importance to low-level features, and those who make suggestions for another person will give less importance to high-level features. In this study, the Self-Compassion Scale, the Behavior Identification Form and the task of choosing an assignment partner was used. Participants who were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions, were asked to either choose an assignment partner themselves or suggest an assignment partner for another person. In addition, they were asked to evaluate the importance of some characteristics of the two possible partners. The participants were 187 students (107 females, 80 males; Mage= 22.37, SDage = 3.10). The mixed ANOVA indicated that the effect of social distance on construal level was in an unexpected direction. Specifically, when individuals chose an assignment partner for themselves, the importance of the high-level feature was significantly greater as compared to the importance of the low-level feature. However, there was no significant difference between attribute importance when individuals made suggestions for another person. Hence, this study did not provide support for the premises of the CLT in general. Bootstrap analyses revealed that the interaction effect of social distance and self-compassion on the importance of the low-level feature was significant. In addition, regression analysis showed the relationship between self-compassion and trait construal level. It can be argued that this study presents a preliminary finding regarding the relationship between self-compassion and construal level.
Construal Level Theory, self-compassion, social distance, abstraction