Reviewing Regulatory Focus Based on Four Regulatory Forms

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Abstract

This study employs the four regulatory forms (goal pursuit, goal maintenance, negative escape, and active avoidance) to illuminate the heterogeneousness among regulatory focus measurements and activations. The first two studies consistently found that promotion focus involves goal pursuit orientation; however, prevention focus encompasses a goal maintenance and a negative escape orientation. The regulatory forms were then applied to regulatory fit research to investigate how the matches of regulatory forms determine the effect sizes of regulatory fit. By meta-analyses, the weak effect in one third of regulatory fit studies, whose regulatory forms were mismatched or partially matched, decreased the overall fit effect and increased the heterogeneousness among regulatory fit studies. However, a strong and consistent regulatory fit effect was found in well-matched of regulatory forms. By examining and extending regulatory forms to measurement, activation, and regulatory fit studies, this paper offers further understanding of the mechanisms of regulatory focus.

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