Regulatory Focus in Consumer Behavior Research
2013, 21 (2):
Beyond the hedonic principle, Regulatory Focus Theory (Higgins, 1997) distinguished two kinds of motivational systems: promotion focus and prevention focus, which became one of the hottest topics in consumer behavior research. Through direct effect, regulatory relevance and regulatory fit effect, regulatory focus (RF) influences the whole progress of consumer decision-making and the effectiveness of persuasion. RF is determined by subject factor (cultural background, self-construal), stimulus factor (message framing, construal level, nonverbal cues, product type) and context factor, and the effectiveness of regulatory fit is moderated by elaboration likelihood. Practitioners should pay special attention to RF in marketing activities and make good use of regulatory fit effect to improve persuasion effectiveness. Future research should keep up with the advances of regulatory engagement theory, keep exploring the antecedents of RF, combine RF to online shopping context, and investigate how to attenuate the impairing effect of prevention focus.
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