Emotional responses to goal attainment: strength of regulatory focus as moderator.
Goals with a promotion focus versus a prevention focus are distinguished. Chronic ideal goals (hopes and aspirations) have a promotion focus, whereas ought goals (duties and responsibilities) have a prevention focus. The hypothesis that emotional responses to goal attainment vary as a function of promotion versus prevention goal strength (conceptualized as goal accessibility) was tested in correlational studies relating chronic goal attainment (self-congruencies or self-discrepancies) to emotional frequency and intensity (Studies 1-3) and in an experimental study relating immediate goal attainment (i.e., success or failure) to emotional intensity (Study 4). All studies found that goal attainment yielded greater cheerfulness-dejection responses when promotion focus was stronger and greater quiescence-agitation responses when prevention focus was stronger.
Higgins, ET; Shah, J; Friedman, R
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