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The Pleasures and Pains of Distinct Self-Construals: The Role of Interdependence in Regulatory Focus


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  • Lee, Angela Y.
  • Aaker, Jennifer L.
  • Gardner, Wendi L.
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    Regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) distinguishes between self-regulatory processes that focus upon promotion (gain-focused) and prevention (loss-focused) strategies for goal pursuit. Five studies provide support for the hypothesis that these self-regulatory strategies differ for individuals with distinct self-construal patterns that encourage one or another from of goal pursuit. Specifically, individuals with a dominant independent self-construal were predicted to place more emphasis on promotion focused information, whereas those with a dominant interdependent self-construal were predicted to place more emphasis on prevention focus. Support for this hypothesis was obtained for participants who scored high versus low on the Independent-Interdependent scale in the U.S., participants from a western (U.S.) versus eastern (Hong Kong) culture, and participants across cultures who were presented with an independent versus interdependent situation (e.g., individual versus team event). Moreover, the moderating role of interdependence upon regulatory focus could be seen in both importance ratings of promotion vs. prevention framed information, and affective responses consistent with promotion or prevention focus. These results, robut across distinct operationalizations of self-construal, are discussed in light of cultural differences in socialization, self-enhancement motives, and optimism and pessimism. Finally, the findings also underscore the malleability of self-construal within the individual, and may thus help predict when distinct self-regulatory strategies will be invoked.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1577r.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1577r

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    Cited by:
    1. Mara Olekalns & Christopher Horan & Philip Smith, 2014. "Maybe It’s Right, Maybe It’s Wrong: Structural and Social Determinants of Deception in Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 89-102, June.
    2. Bu, Kyunghee & Kim, Donghoon & Son, Jungmin, 2013. "Is the culture–emotion fit always important?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 983-988.
    3. Zhang, Jason Q. & Craciun, Georgiana & Shin, Dongwoo, 2010. "When does electronic word-of-mouth matter? A study of consumer product reviews," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 1336-1341, December.
    4. Selda Koydemir & Ömer Şimşek & Astrid Schütz & Arun Tipandjan, 2013. "Differences in How Trait Emotional Intelligence Predicts Life Satisfaction: The Role of Affect Balance Versus Social Support in India and Germany," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 51-66, March.
    5. Grant, Adam M. & Campbell, Elizabeth M. & Chen, Grace & Cottone, Keenan & Lapedis, David & Lee, Karen, 2007. "Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 53-67, May.
    6. Leder, Susanne & Mannetti, Lucia & Hölzl, Erik & Kirchler, Erich, 2010. "Regulatory fit effects on perceived fiscal exchange and tax compliance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 271-277, April.
    7. Hamilton, Ryan & Vohs, Kathleen D. & Sellier, Anne-Laure & Meyvis, Tom, 2011. "Being of two minds: Switching mindsets exhausts self-regulatory resources," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 13-24, May.
    8. Bryant, Peter, 2009. "Self-regulation and moral awareness among entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 505-518, September.
    9. Chu Kim-prieto & Michael Eid, 2004. "Norms for Experiencing Emotions," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 241-268, September.
    10. Menon, Tanya & Sim, Jessica & Fu, Jeanne Ho-Ying & Chiu, Chi-yue & Hong, Ying-yi, 2010. "Blazing the trail versus trailing the group: Culture and perceptions of the leader's position," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 51-61, September.
    11. Florack, Arnd & Keller, Johannes & Palcu, Johanna, 2013. "Regulatory focus in economic contexts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 127-137.
    12. Jae-Eun Kim & Kim Johnson, 2013. "The Impact of Moral Emotions on Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns: A Cross-Cultural Examination," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 79-90, January.
    13. Beersma, Bianca & Homan, Astrid C. & Van Kleef, Gerben A. & De Dreu, Carsten K.W., 2013. "Outcome interdependence shapes the effects of prevention focus on team processes and performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 194-203.
    14. Hsuan-Hsuan Ku & Chien-Chih Kuo & Wei-Luen Fang & Ya-Wen Yu, 2014. "The impact of retail out-of-stock options on preferences: The role of consumers’ desire for assimilation versus differentiation," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 53-66, March.
    15. Aaker, Jennifer L. & Lee, Angela Y., 2006. "Understanding Regulatory Fit," Research Papers 1910, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    16. van Hoorn, André, 2014. "Individualism and the cultural roots of management practices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 53-68.
    17. Hi Lau & Mathew White & Simone Schnall, 2013. "Quantifying the Value of Emotions Using a Willingness to Pay Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 1543-1561, October.
    18. Wu, Cindy & McMullen, Jeffery S. & Neubert, Mitchell J. & Yi, Xiang, 2008. "The influence of leader regulatory focus on employee creativity," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 587-602, September.


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