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 New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19
21.07.2020 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>