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Department Faculty

Kentaro Fujita

Kentaro Fujita received his A.B. summa cum laude in psychology from Harvard College in 2000, and his Ph.D. in psychology from New York University in 2006. His research interests focus on why despite possessing remarkable intelligence and reasoning capacity people often make decisions and behave in ways that undermine their valued goals and objectives. For example, why do smokers continue to smoke when they know the health risks? Why do consumers spend more money than they can afford? Why are dieters so tempted by indulgent foods? To understand these self-control failures, Dr. Fujita’s research draws from a number of areas in psychology, including motivation, cognition, self-regulation, and judgment & decision-making.

More information about his research interests, publications, and teaching can be found on his website.

Selected Publications

Please note that in accordance with copyright agreements, most articles are available for download only in pre-print manuscript form. For a publication-edited reprint, please email a request to fujita.5(at)

Journal Articles

Mann, T., de Ridder, D. T. D., & Fujita, K. (in press). Social psychological approaches to self-regulation: Processes of goal setting and goal striving. Health Psychology

Fujita, K., & Carnevale, J. J. (in press). Transcending temptation through abstraction: The role of construal level in self-control. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Johnson, I. R., & Fujita, K. (2012). Using perceptions of changeability to promote system-change motives over system-justification motives in information search. Psychological Science, 23, 133-140.

Henderson, M. D., Wakslak, C. J., Fujita, K., & Rohrbach, J. (2011). Construal level theory and spatial distance: Implications for mental representation, judgment, and behavior. Social Psychology, 42, 165-173.

Fujita, K., & Sasota, J. A. (2011). The effect of construal levels on asymmetric temptation-goal cognitive associations. Social Cognition, 29, 125-146.

Fujita, K. (2011). On conceptualizing self-control as more than the effortful inhibition of impulses. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15, 352-366.

Eyal, T., Hoover, G. M., Fujita, K., & Nussbaum, S. (2011). The effect of distance-dependent construals on schema-driven impression formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 278-281.

Scholer, A. A., Zou, X., Fujita, K., Stroessner, S. J., & Higgins, E. T. (2010). When risk-seeking becomes a motivational necessity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 215-231.

Darwent, K. M., Fujita, K., & Wakslak, C. J. (2010). On the role of abstraction in global and local processing phenomena. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 198-202.

Fujita, K., & Roberts, J. C. (2010). Promoting prospective self-control through abstraction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1049-1054.

Fujita, K., & Han, H. A. (2009). Moving beyond deliberative control of impulses: The effects of construal levels on evaluative associations in self-control. Psychological Science, 20, 799-804. [pdf]

Fujita, K. (2008). Seeing the forest beyond the trees: A construal level approach to self-control. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1475-1496. [link]

Fujita, K., Eyal, T., Chaiken, S., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2008). Influencing attitudes toward near and distant objects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 562-572. [pdf]

Iida, M., Seidman, G., Shrout, P. E., Fujita, K., & Bolger, N. (2008). Modeling support provision in intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 460-478. [pdf]

McCulloch, K. C., Aarts, H., Fujita, K., & Bargh, J. A. (2008). Inhibition in goal systems: Means isolation and suppression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 857-865.[pdf]

Fujita, K., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2007). Mindsets and pre-conscious open-mindedness to incidental information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 48-61. [pdf]

Fujita, K., Henderson, M., Eng, J., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2006). Spatial distance and mental construal of social events. Psychological Science, 17, 278-282. [pdf]

Fujita, K., Trope, Y., Liberman, N., & Levin-Sagi, M. (2006). Construal levels and self-control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 351-367. [pdf]

Henderson, M. D., Fujita, K., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2006). Transcending the "Here": The effects of spatial distance on social judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 845-856. [pdf]

Shih, M., Ambady, N., Richeson, J. A., Fujita, K., & Gray, H. M. (2002). Stereotype performance boosts: The impact of self-relevance and the manner of stereotype activation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(3), 638-647.


Fujita, K., Clark, S. L., & Freitas, A. L. (in press). “Think globally, act locally”: Construal levels and environmentally relevant decision-making. In H. van Trip (Ed.), Encouraging Sustainable Behavior. New York: Psychology Press.

Fujita, K., & MacGregor, K. E. (2012). Basic goal distinctions. In H. Aarts & A. J. Elliot (Eds.), Goal-oriented behavior (pp. 85-114). New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.

Fujita, K., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2010). Seeing the big picture: A construal level analysis of self-control. In R. R. Hassin, K. N. Ochsner, & Y. Trope (Eds.), Self-control in society, mind, and brain (pp. 408-427). New York: Oxford University Press.

Fujita, K., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2007). Construal level theory. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fujita, K., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2006). The role of mental construal in self-control. In D. DeCremer, M. Zeelenberg, & J. K. Murnighan (Eds.), Social psychology and economics (pp. 193-211). New York: Sage Publications.

Gollwitzer, P. M., Fujita, K., & Oettingen, G. (2004). Planning and the implementation of goals. In R. Baumeister & K. Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation research: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 211-228). Guildford: New York.


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