Motivations in romantic relationships: a regulatory focus perspective

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Title: Motivations in romantic relationships: a regulatory focus perspective
Author: Winterheld, Heike A.
Abstract: The present research tested whether and how regulatory focus as a motivational variable influences the ways in which people appraise , process , and react to events in romantic relationships . Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between (1 ) a prevention focus , which emphasizes the fulfillment of security needs , duties and obligations , and is associated with heightened sensitivity to aversive outcomes , and (2 ) a promotion focus , which emphasizes the fulfillment of nurturance needs , accomplishments and aspirations , and is associated with heightened sensitivity to rewarding outcomes . Based on regulatory focus theory , it was assumed that promotion and prevention focused people would appraise , react to , and process interpersonal events involving a romantic partner in different ways . In addition , it was expected that the distinct ways of experiencing such events are reflected in differences in relationship quality . Three studies using college student samples were conducted to test these notions . Evidence was found that individual differences in chronic prevention focus affect the ways in which people react to aversive events in relationships . No support was obtained for regulatory focus theory ? ?s predictions regarding prevention focus processes in association with rewarding outcomes , and predictions related to the promotion focus system were also not supported . As expected , chronic promotion focus was related to higher relationship quality , and chronic prevention focus was associated with lower relationship quality . Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2260
Date: 2005-08-29

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Motivations in romantic relationships: a regulatory focus perspective. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2260 .

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