Saturday, December 22, 2007

Taiwan trip preparation

We are leaving for Taiwan tomorrow morning. It will involve many hours of flying plus an additional many hours of non-flying travel, some of which is time spent for the sake of leaving extra time around. The non-flight time includes:

  • 15 minute drive to LAX
  • 3 hours to check in, go through security, and wait at the airport
  • time spent sitting on planes but not flying
  • several hours in Narita, Japan to transfer to a flight to Taiwan
  • time waiting for a bus to Taipei
  • a 40 minute bus ride and foot/cab travel to our hotel

Theories and research on the psychological consequences of temporal construal suggest that temporal distance increases the weight of cognitive outcomes compared to affective ones. My thoughts regarding the chocolate cake I may or may not consume right prioritize its taste, texture, and the pleasure of enjoying it. The chocolate cake I think about eating next week, however, probably conjures more ideas about its caloric density, what it will do for my longevity, blood sugar, or waistline.

In addition, construal level theory posits that individuals' mental models of distant-future events are more abstract compared to near-future ones. When purchasing these tickets to Korea and Taiwan, I imagined the people we would see and the places we would go. Now that flight time is less than 24 hours away, I'm stuck on the fact that comfortable air travel could be much more so.

Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2003). Temporal Construal. Psychological Review, 110, 403-421.

Photo of LAX, Tom Bradley Terminal by Willie Lee.