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Regulatory fit and health behavior

Uskul, Ayse K and Keller, Johannes and Oyserman, Daphna (2008) 'Regulatory fit and health behavior.' Psychology & Health, 23 (3). pp. 327-346. ISSN 0887-0446

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Abstract

Everyone prefers health to ill-health, though some worry more about ill health than others and for others abstract health concerns seem to pale compared with the prospect of immediate hedonic pleasures. Two studies (n = 90, n = 70) utilized a ‘fit’ in self-regulatory focus approach (Higgins, 2000) to describe when and how worrying about health (versus focus on hedonic pleasure) is likely to lead to distinct health behaviors. According to this model, individuals differ in their self-regulatory focus–some focus on reaching safety and security through vigilant and careful action (prevention focus) and others focus on opportunities to eagerly approach hopes and aspirations (promotion focus). We proposed that likelihood of engaging in health care-taking behaviors is higher among individuals who experience ‘prevention fit’–who are prevention-focused and are chronically or temporarily worried about health–whereas likelihood of engaging in eagerness-related behaviors that may be detrimental to health is higher among individuals who experience ‘promotion fit’–who are promotion-focused and chronically or temporarily experience thrill seeking. Prevention fit correlated with health care-taking behaviors (Study 1) and with readiness to engage in cancer detection behaviors (Study 2). Promotion fit correlated with using stimulants to overcome physical weakness (Study 1).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health behavior, prevention, promotion, regulatory focus, regulatory fit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2011 17:44
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2011 09:44
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1193

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