How Goal Progress Influences Regulatory Focus in Goal Pursuit
Forthcoming, Journal of Consumer Psychology
67 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2017
This research examines the influence of goal progress on the regulatory focus of goals. The results of five experiments demonstrate that in earlier stages of goal pursuit, individuals represent goals as promotion-focused, while in later stages of goal pursuit, individuals represent goals as prevention-focused. This effect is driven by the differential reliance on the initial versus the desired state as a reference point throughout goal pursuit. In earlier stages of goal pursuit, reliance on the initial state as a reference point produces a gain-framed assessment of goal progress and leads to a promotion-focused view of goals. In later stages of goal pursuit, reliance on the desired state as a reference point produces a loss-framed assessment of goal progress and leads to a prevention-focused view of goals. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords: regulatory focus, goal progress, motivation
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