Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Your personality type influences how much self-control you have

25.01.2008
A new study from Northwestern introduces personality types used frequently in consumer research to the realm of self-improvement.

People are motivated by one of two fundamental needs: they are either “promotion-focused,” seeking products that will help them achieve hopes and aspirations, or they are “prevention-focused,” seeking items that help achieve a need for safety and security. According to the research, people are better able to exercise self-control when they choose goal-pursuit strategies – such as diets or money management – that “fit” with their promotion or prevention focus.

“This research has important implications for consumer welfare,” explain Jiewen Hong and Angela Y. Lee (both of Northwestern University) in the February issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. “While self-help remedies are saturating the market, resisting temptations remains a strenuous process and a constant struggle for many people. The data reported in this research offer an important step toward understanding self-control and highlight the benefits of adopting the right goal pursuit strategies.”

Given their concern for growth and accomplishments, promotion-focused individuals experience “fit” when they adopt strategies that strive toward gains. They experience “nonfit” when they adopt vigilance strategies that guard against losses, the researchers explain. In contrast, prevention-focused individuals experience “fit” when they adopt vigilance strategies to address their concern for safety and security.

In the study, adoption of strategies that “fit” was reflected in having promotion- or prevention-focused individuals list either how they anticipated they would achieve their aspiration (i.e., “What are some things you can do to make sure everything goes right"”) or how they would fulfill their obligation (i.e., “What are some of the things you can do to avoid anything that could go wrong"”)

In one study, participants who had filled out the questionnaire were then asked to choose between an apple and a chocolate bar as a snack. A remarkable 80 percent of those who had been asked to think about strategies that “fit” with their focus chose the apple, while only 20 percent of those who adopted conflicting strategies chose the apple.

Another experiment had particularly important real-world implications, gauging research participants’ willingness to get tested for hepatitis. Getting diagnostic screening for most medical conditions is considered inconvenient, unpleasant, and a hassle – it requires self-control to get tested, especially if you consider yourself low-risk.

Among participants who perceived themselves to be at low risk, those who adopted goal pursuit strategies that fit their promotion or prevention focus were more willing to get tested for hepatitis than those who were asked to think about strategies that did not fit with their pre-determined focus.

Importantly, people seemed unaware of these effects and didn’t select strategies that fit their focus when offered the choice.

“[We] find that when people adopt goal pursuit strategies that fit with their promotion or prevention focus, they have better self-control. In contrast, their self-control is weakened when they adopt goal pursuit strategies that conflict with their focus,” the researchers explain.

They conclude: “Self-control is not just about doing the right things, but also about doing things the right way.”

Jiewen Hong and Angela Y. Lee, “Be Fit and Be Strong: Mastering Self-Regulation through Regulatory Fit.” Journal of Consumer Research: February 2008.

Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>