E. Tory Higgins’ regulatory focus theory

Wacław Bąk

Abstract


The regulatory focus theory proposed by E. Tory Higgins differentiates between two distinct strategies for self regulation: (1) promotion and (2) prevention regulatory focus. The former is concerned with ideals, advancement, aspirations, accomplishments, and growth, while the latter – with oughts, obligations, responsibility, protection, and safety. The paper presents the main theses of the theory and results of selected studies concerning the role of regulatory focus in cognitive processes and decision making, different aspects of goal achievement, and also in experiencing emotions, assessment making and value judgments. The last part of the paper discusses strong and weak points of the theory as well as its associations with other cognitive models of self-regulation. It is also proposed to put the regulatory foci in a broader context of personality and temperament variables.


Keywords


self-regulation; regulatory focus; Higgins

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References


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