Power of Goals
Aaker, Jennifer and Angela Lee (2006), "Understanding Regulatory Fit," Journal of Marketing Research, 43 (Feb), 15-19.
We focus on three critical areas of future research on regulatory fit. The first focuses on how regulatory orientation gets sustained. We argue that there are two distinct approaches that bring about the 'just right feeling': (1) process-based (involving the interaction between regulatory orientation and decision making processes) and (2) outcome-based (involving the interaction between regulatory orientation and framed outcomes offered). Second, we discuss possible boundary conditions of regulatory fit effects, highlight in particular the apparent paradoxical role of involvement. We suggest that the antecedents give rise to regulatory fit (e.g., lowered motivation) may differ from its consequences (e.g., increased motivation). Finally, we discuss broader implications of regulatory fit, proposing three possible mechanisms by which regulatory fit may lead to improved health and discussing the degree to which the 'just right feeling' may play a role in goal-sustaining experiences related to subjective well-being (e.g., flow).
Lee, Angela and Aaker, Jennifer (2004), "Bringing the Frame Into Focus: The Influence of Regulatory Fit on Processing Fluency and Persuasion," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86 (February) 205-218.
This research demonstrates the people's goals associated with regulatory focus moderate the effect of message framing on persuasion. The results of 6 experiments show that appeals presented to gain frames are more persuasive when the message is promotion focused, whereas loss-framed appeals are more persuasive when the message is prevention focused. These regulatory focus effects suggesting heightened vigilance against negative outcomes and heightened eagerness toward positive outcomes are replicated when perceived risk is manipulated. Enhanced processing fluency leading to more favorable evaluations in conditions of compatibility appears to underlie these effects. The finds underscore the regulatory fit principle that accounts for the persuasiveness of message framing effects and highlight how processing fluency may contribute to the "feeling right" experience when the strategy of goal pursuit matches one's goal.
- Stanley Reiter award at Kellogg best paper award (best paper published by Kellogg faculty in last 4 years).
Aaker, Jennifer and Angela Lee (2001), "I Seek Pleasures, We Avoid Pains: The Role of Self Regulatory Goals in Information Processing of Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, 28 (June), 33-49.
In four experiments, we show that goals associated with approach and avoidance needs influence persuasion and that the accessibility of distinct self-views moderates these effects. Specifically, individuals with an accessible independent self-view are more persuaded by promotion-focused information that is consistent with an approach goal. In contrast, individuals whose interdependent self-view is more accessible are more persuaded by prevention focused information that is consistent with an avoidance goal. When the persuasive appeal is compatible with self-regulatory focus, individuals demonstrate greater recall of the message content and are more discerning regarding argument strength. These findings provide convergent evidence that central processing under goal compatible conditions underlies the persuasion effects.
Lee, Angela, Jennifer Aaker and Wendi Gardner (2000), "The Pleasures and Pains of Distinct Self-Construals: The Role of Interdependence in Regulatory Focus," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78 (June), 1122-1134.
Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between self-regulatory processes that focus on promotion and prevention strategies for goal pursuit. Five studies provide support for the hypothesis that these strategies differ for individuals with distinct self-construals. Specifically, individuals with a dominant independent self-construal were predicted to place more emphasis on promotion-focused information, and those with a dominant interdependent self-construal on prevention-focused information. Support for this hypothesis was obtained for participants who scored high versus low on the Self-Construal Scale, participants who were presented with an independent versus interdependent situation, and participants from a Western versus Easter culture. The influence of interdependence on regulatory focus was observed in both importance ratings of information and affective responses consistent with promotion or prevention focus.