ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2010, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (06): 704-714.

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期望与绩效的关系: 调节定向的调节作用


  1. (1南开大学社会心理学系, 天津 300071) (2天津师范大学教育学院心理学系, 天津 300387)
  • 收稿日期:2009-08-07 修回日期:1900-01-01 出版日期:2010-06-30 发布日期:2010-06-30
  • 通讯作者: 马华维

Success Expectations and Performance: Regulatory Focus as a Moderator

YAO Qi;MA Hua-Wei;YUE Guo-An   

  1. (1 Department of Social Psychology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China)
    (2 Department of Psychology, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China)
  • Received:2009-08-07 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-06-30 Published:2010-06-30
  • Contact: MA Hua-Wei

摘要: 经典动机理论认为高期望能提高绩效水平, 本研究结合调节定向理论进一步回答这种效应“何时”存在或“如何”产生的问题。研究1通过测量期望水平、并用任务框架操作调节定向, 检验了情景启动的调节定向对期望与行为间关系的影响; 研究2采取更严格的被试内设计通过任务难度操作期望, 考察了作为个体长期差异的调节定向的作用。结果表明: ① 调节定向调节成功期望与绩效之间的关系: 对于促进定向, 成功期望与绩效正相关; 对于预防定向, 期望与绩效相关不显著。② 动机可以部分解释调节定向与期望的交互作用机制: 高水平的成功期望会提高促进定向个体的动机强度, 进而产生高的绩效结果; 其对预防定向个体的动机强度的影响不显著。

关键词: 期望, 绩效, 调节定向, 促进定向, 预防定向

Abstract: According to classic psychological theories of motivation, success expectations induce high motivation and thus lead to high performance. However, recent researchers have found that people sometimes select subjectively worse performance goals, thus lowering their expectations so as to avoid future mistakes and regret. Therefore, our research was directed to answer the “when” and “how” questions-when are the classic relationships (i.e., the positive correlations between expectations and performance) most likely to occur and what self-regulatory principles underlie their occurrence. Applying regulatory focus theory, we hypothesized that regulatory focus moderated the relations between expectations and performance and that motivation served as a mediator and partially explained the mechanism.
These hypotheses were tested through two studies, both of which used the game “Spot the Differences” as experimental materials and recruited undergraduate students as participants. Study 1 measured the level of expectations and manipulated temporary regulatory focus with task framing techniques. Study 2 measured individual chronic regulatory focus with Regulatory Focus Questionnaire (RFQ) to further test the moderating effects. In addition, considering that Study 1 didn’t support the main effects of expectations as presented in classic motivational theories, Study 2 applied within-subject experimental design and manipulated expectations through the difficulty of tasks. Motivations were manipulated as the time participants spent on the tasks in both studies, and their mediating effects were tested according to the procedures proposed by Muller, Judd, & Yzerbyt (2005).
The findings showed that: ①Regulatory focus moderated the relationship between expectations and performance. For promotion focus individuals, success expectations correlated positively with performance, which was consistent with classic motivational theories; For prevention focus individuals, the correlation was not significant. ②Motivation mediated the interactions—high success expectations raised the motivational strength of promotion focus individuals, thus resulting in enhanced performance; while it made no significant motivational impacts on prevention focus individuals.
The present research deepens our understanding of the relationship between expectations and performance by considering regulatory focus as both a situational factor and s chronic individual difference. Furthermore, it extends the moderating effect of regulatory focus from realistic outcomes to outcome expectations. It also suggests that positive beliefs about further (e.g., high success expectations) do not always lead to positive outcomes, which may depend on their relationships with individual properties and situational requirement.

Key words: expectations, performance, regulatory focus, promotion focus, prevention focus