Fitting motivational content and process: A systematic investigation of fit between value-framing and self-regulation

Karl-Andrew Woltin, Anat Bardi

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Objective: Values are often phrased as ideals that people seek to approach, but they can also be conceptualized as counter-ideals that people seek to avoid. We aimed to test whether individuals endorse more strongly values that are framed in line with their predominant selfregulatory motivation, using individual difference scales in promotion/prevention (Higgins,1997) and in behavioral approach/inhibition (Carver & White, 1994). To address this systematically, we developed approach- and avoidance-framed versions of the Portrait ValueQuestionnaire-RR (PVQ-RR; Schwartz et al., 2012).Method: Participants completed approach- and avoidance-framed PVQ-RR versions in two studies measuring regulatory focus or motivational orientation (together 423 USA adults,48% female, ages 18-69) and one study manipulating motivational orientation (39 UK high school students, 79% female, ages 16-19).Findings: Value framing consistently interacted with both self-regulation variables.However, a fit between self-regulation and value framing resulted in greater value endorsement only for promotion-focused and approach-oriented (not prevention-focused and avoidanceoriented) participants. This may be because values are more naturally understood as ideal states that people seek to approach.Conclusions: Our findings provide first insights into the psychological process of person–value framing fit affecting value endorsement. We discuss implications for cross-cultural value research and research on value-congruent behavior.

© 2017, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The attached document (embargoed until 28/12/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in The Journal of Personality, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personality
Early online date28 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2018


  • values
  • approach
  • avoidance
  • regulatory focus
  • fit

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