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The Relationships Between Affect Dimensions and Level of Construal
The relationship between affect and cognition is a central topic of interest in psychology. In the present study we focus specifically on the relationship of the affect dimensions of valence and activation with construal level. Although several studies have looked into this relationship, findings have been inconsistent. We propose that these inconsistencies may result from the fact that valence and activation, which have been typically linked with construal level separately, are not independent of each other. Specifically, we propose that affect valence and activation interact in their effects on construal level, such that activation moderates the relationship between affect valence and construal level. The relationship between the two increases the higher the affect activation. We test this interaction effect through a text analysis of real-life written descriptions of events. The content of 330,853 TripAdvisor online hotel reviews were analyzed, using the: (a) Affective Norms for English Words, (b) Warriner et al.’s Emotion Norms, and (c) Brysbaert et al.’s Concreteness Ratings. Results confirm the predicted U-shaped relationship between valence and activation, and the interaction effect between valence and activation on construal level.