Marta Roczniewska, Alina Kolańczyk
Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sopot Faculty
Ferguson and Bargh (2004) demonstrated that objects related to current goal pursuit are rated as more positive which allows to include them into attention and action. We hypothesized that the above relevance is assigned differently depending on regulatory states. In his theory of self-regulation Higgins (1997) distinguishes between promotion (ideals and aspirations) and prevention (responsibility and safety) focus which strongly influence individuals cognition, emotion and decision making processes. In two studies we aimed to test the impact of regulatory focus on goal pursuit, namely the affect that is assigned to objects of different relation to the goal. We manipulated regulatory state and goal activation. We tested attitudes towards objects implicitly. The studies showed, that both preventive and promotive participants rated objects that fulfill task criteria as more positive. While prevention was associated with vigilance, preventive participants also expressed positive attitude towards impediments to the goal. The latter group devaluated stimuli irrelevant to goal pursuit (cognitive noise).
Keywords: regulatory focus, goal pursuit, automatic evaluation
Cite this article as:
Roczniewska, M., Kolanczyk, A. (2012). Automatic evaluation as a function of regulatory focus and goal pursuit. Psychologia Społeczna, 20, 34-47.