Applying regulatory focus theory, we hypothesized that success-related approach motivation and increased expectancies are more likely to occur when performers are in a promotion than a prevention focus and that failure-related avoidance motivation and decreased expectancies are more likely to occur when performers are in a prevention than a promotion focus. Study 1 used arm flexion pressure as an on-line measure of approach strength and arm extension pressure as an on-line measure of avoidance strength. Study 2 used a persistence measure of motivational strength. The "goal looms larger" effect of increased motivational strength as one moves closer to a goal was greatest for approach when there was success feedback and promotion focus framing and was greatest for avoidance when there was failure feedback and prevention focus framing. Performance expectancies were increased more by promotion than prevention success and were decreased more by prevention than promotion failure. These effects support the hypotheses and were independent of one another.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychologyvol.
37, (July 01, 2001):