Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Business Administration

First Advisor

Catherine A. Cole

Second Advisor

Jing Wang


The current research investigates how and why consumers' construal levels and the appeals framed either by gains or losses jointly influence persuasion. The findings across four experiments indicate that matching high-level construals with gain frames and low-level construals with loss frames leads to a) higher intentions to engage in cholesterol lowering behavior (experiment 1), b) more favorable brand attitudes (experiment 2), c) greater willingness to donate to an environmental organization (experiment 3), and d) higher buying intentions for a brand (experiment 4). It seems that these outcomes occur because matches between construal level and message frames encourage people to pay attention to the information they evaluate (experiments 1 ˜4), and this enhanced attention induces greater perceptions of processing fluency, which in turn leads to positive attitudes (experiments 2˜4). Further, this research demonstrates that an adequate amount of cognitive resources is required for this matching effect to occur (experiment 4). The current research contributes to the construal level, message framing, and matching literatures by unveiling the specific mechanism underlying the matching relationship between construal level and gain versus loss frames on persuasion and by identifying a boundary condition for it. This research also has managerial implications for marketing managers and policymakers in that it suggests a strategic way to use construal level and message frames to enhance marketing communication and advertising effectiveness.


Attention, Construal Level, Information Processing, Message Framing, Persuasion, Processing Fluency


ix, 95 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 73-80).


Copyright 2012 Yun Lee