ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (2): 347-357.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00347

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Regulatory Focus in Consumer Behavior Research

YIN Feifan;WANG Yong   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (2 Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China)
  • Received:2012-04-28 Online:2013-02-15 Published:2013-02-15
  • Contact: WANG Yong

Abstract: 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.

Key words: regulatory focus, regulatory fit, consumer behavior, decision making, persuasion