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

See all articles by Yinlong Zhang

Yinlong Zhang

University of Texas at San Antonio

Vikas Mittal

Rice University

Date Written: March 15, 2007

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Yinlong and Mittal, Vikas, The Attractiveness of Enriched and Impoverished Options: Culture, Self-Construal, and Regulatory Focus (March 15, 2007). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(4), April 2007, 588-598, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342330

Yinlong Zhang

University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States

Vikas Mittal (Contact Author)

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
250 McNair
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

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