Regulatory focus in economic contexts

Arnd Florack, Johannes Keller, Johanna Palcu

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The authors argue that behavior in economic contexts will be better understood when it is taken into account that contexts can evoke self-regulatory strategies reflecting a promotion or prevention focus and that such contexts meet individuals with preferences for a specific kind of self-regulation. They refer to research showing that promotion- and prevention-focused self-regulation has an important impact on judgments, choice, and behavior in economic contexts, and that such effects of regulatory focus are a consequence of behavioral strategies and differences in information processing associated with the self-regulatory orientations of a promotion or prevention focus. Furthermore, the authors emphasize that cognitive feelings are a motivational force that keeps such self-regulatory processes running. In particular, they argue that feeling right and anticipation and experience of regret increase the engagement of individuals in promotion- or prevention-focused self-regulation and direct individuals towards the relevant self-regulatory goals. Finally, the authors provide examples documenting how knowledge about self-regulatory orientations of a promotion and a prevention focus can be applied to understand individuals’ behavior and to develop reasonable intervention strategies addressing relevant behavioral tendencies in the economic context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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