Regulatory Mode Effects On Counterfactual Thinking and Regret

Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.29). 03/2008; 44(2):321-329. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2007.06.002
Source: OAI


The present studies examined the influence of two regulatory mode concerns—a locomotion concern with movement from state to state and an assessment concern with making comparisons [see Higgins, E. T., Kruglanski, A. W., & Pierro, A. (2003). Regulatory mode: Locomotion and assessment as distinct orientations. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 293–344). New York: Academic Press]—on engaging in counterfactual thinking and experiencing post-decisional regret. When contemplating a decision with a negative outcome, it was predicted that high (vs. low) locomotion would induce less counterfactual thinking and less regret, whereas the opposite would be true for high (vs. low) assessment. Locomotion and assessment orientations were measured as chronic individual differences in Study 1 and 2, and were induced experimentally in Study 3. In Study 1 and 3 a purchase scenario with a negative outcome was used to elicit counterfactuals and regret, while in Study 2 participants were asked to recall one of their own personal purchases that had a negative outcome. The results supported our predictions. We discuss the implications of these findings for the nature of counterfactual thinking and regret from the perspective of their relation to regulatory mode.

Download full-text


Available from: Arie W Kruglanski,
  • Source
    • "As noted by Pierro et al. (2013), certain situations may induce locomotion and assessment orientations. According to Pierro et al. (2008), some situations or activities such as exercising might naturally induce a stronger locomotion orientation, whereas other situations such as reading a newspaper might induce a stronger assessment orientation. That is, different situations may call for either locomotion or assessment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Three competing arguments about the effect of word-of-mouth—positivity effect, negativity effect, and no effect—have been advanced in the literature and found inconsistent results. Previous studies have investigated various boundary conditions in an attempt to explain the inconsistent results concerning the effectiveness of recommendation valence. This study argues that the effectiveness of recommendation valence is not determined by recommendations’ content (i.e., positive vs. negative) but by consumers’ regulatory mode orientation, which has rarely been studied. An experiment on 168 participants shows that consumers high in assessment orientation evaluate negative reviews as being more useful, whereas consumers high in locomotion orientation tend to evaluate positive reviews as being more useful. Moreover, mediated moderation tests using bootstrapping demonstrate that, for consumers high in assessment orientation, negative reviews have an indirect positive effect on intention, mediated by message usefulness; however, this mediated moderation effect does not occur for consumers high in locomotion orientation. The study’s theoretical and practical implications, its limitations, and directions for future research are discussed in the conclusion.
    Computers in Human Behavior 04/2015; 45. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.036 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Drawing attention to the self should highlight the discrepancies between assessors' current self in the workplace with his or her desired selves, resulting in negative affect (Higgins, 1987). Moreover, assessors are more prone to counterfactual thinking and to the experience of regret than are locomotors (Pierro et al., 2008). This may spur a particularly damaging self-focused attention pattern in which one concentrates upon negative feedback but not on positive feedback, exacerbating negative affect (Mor & Winquist, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationships between two independent regulatory mode orientations, locomotion and assessment, and well-being in organizational contexts. Results from a sample of 320 employees revealed that locomotion was negatively associated with burnout and psychological strain whereas assessment was positively associated with burnout and strain. The effects of locomotion and assessment on burnout and strain were mediated by workaholism and work engagement. Both locomotion and assessment predicted greater workaholism; however, locomotion was positively associated whereas assessment was negatively associated with work engagement. In turn, workaholism predicted greater burnout and strain, and work engagement predicted less burnout and strain. Implications for employee health and organizational success are discussed.
    Journal of Applied Social Psychology 06/2014; 44(11). DOI:10.1111/jasp.12263 · 0.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Individuals high in locomotion value goal progress as an end in itself and thus seek constant movement and activity aimed toward goal pursuit and attainment (Kruglanski et al. 2000). Accordingly, they are less likely to engage in counterfactual thinking or experience regret (Pierro et al. 2008), and recent research (Orehek et al. 2010) shows that high locomotors tend to devalue relationship partners who facilitated their progress toward goals already attained (i.e. the devaluation effect; Fitzsimons and Fishbach 2010). Locomotors may thus perceive nostalgia, like counterfactual thinking, regret, and concern with ''expendable'' relationship partners, as a hindrance or distraction from progressing toward their valued end of goal pursuit. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nostalgia is defined as the remembrance of prior experiences that are self-relevant, involve close others, and carry a predominantly positive affective tone (Wildschut et al. in J Pers Soc Psychol 91:975–993, 2006). Given nostalgia’s palliative function for coping with negative affect and self-threats (Sedikides et al. in Curr Dir Psychol Sci 17:304–307, 2008), the present research explores a psychological construct related to greater experience of nostalgia: regulatory mode. According to regulatory mode theory (Kruglanski et al. in J Pers Soc Psychol 79:793–815, 2000; Higgins et al. in Adv exp soc psychol 35:293–344, 2003), assessment is the aspect of self-regulation focused on evaluation, whereas locomotion is focused on goal progress. We hypothesized that emphasis of the assessment mode on evaluation would promote nostalgia, while emphasis of the locomotion mode on progress would prevent it. These predictions were corroborated in two studies that assessed regulatory modes as individual difference factors (Study 1) and induced them experimentally (Study 2). Implications of these findings for the self regulation process are considered.
    Motivation and Emotion 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s11031-013-9350-9 · 1.55 Impact Factor
Show more