Two studies examined the impact of self-reported use of promotion- and prevention-related strategies when making “risky” or “conservative” decisions about economic reform. Chronic strength of prevention focus (Study 1) or experimentally induced prevention focus (Study 2) was associated with using strategic vigilance in decision making, whereas chronic strength of promotion focus (Study 1) or experimentally induced promotion focus (Study 2) was associated with using strategic eagerness (when economic conditions were perceived as not so good). Consistent with regulatory focus theory predictions (Higgins, 1997), both studies found that prevention-related use of strategic vigilance was associated with making a conservative choice, whereas promotion-related use of strategic eagerness was associated with making a risky choice. These studies are the first to demonstrate that the use of prevention-related vigilant strategies or promotion-related eager strategies of decision making are associated, respectively, with “conservative” or “risky” political decisions.
The PDF above is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: "Regulatory focus and political decision making: When people favor reform over the status quo." Political Psychology 32, no. 3 (May 27, 2010): 399-418, which has been published in final form at < http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2010.00814.x >.