The Attractiveness of Enriched and Impoverished Options: Culture, Self-Construal, and Regulatory Focus
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(4), April 2007, 588-598
12 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2013
Date Written: March 15, 2007
The authors propose that there is a systematic impact of a person’s activated self-construal (interdependent vs. independent) on the evaluation of enriched and impoverished options. This hypothesis is tested using a cross-country comparison of participants from China and the United States (Study 1) and by priming self-construal (Study 2) and regulatory focus (Study 3). Results show that people with an independent self-construal and a promotion focus perceive enriched options as more attractive than impoverished options. Conversely, people with an interdependent self-construal and a prevention focus perceive enriched options as less attractive than impoverished options. Mediation analyses show that the effect of cultural orientation operates through self-construal. In turn, self-construal operates through activated regulatory focus. Analysis of cognitive responses shows that the effect of regulatory focus is mediated by positive/negative thoughts about option attributes.
Keywords: cultural orientation; self-construal; regulatory focus; option attractiveness
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