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2.2.5 Coping at Work

Hotel employees who were promotion-focused were more likely to task-cope, whereas prevention-focused employees were less likely to emotion- and avoidance-cope (Jung and Yoon 2015). Thus, it appears that regulatory focus has an important role to play in employee behaviour, much like other factors, such as personality or values.

2.2.6 Information Processing

When people are unmotivated to process information, they tend to rely on their regulatory focus to filter out information that they deem irrelevant. Those who are promotion-focused selectively pay attention to benefits that address nurturance concerns, and prevention-focused individuals selectively pay attention to benefits that address safety and security concerns (Wang and Lee 2006). Information is also recalled better when it is consistent with self-regulatory goals (Aaker and Lee 2001).

Regulatory focus theory is linked to the way messages are perceived (Kirmani and Zhu 2007). When presented with ambiguous ad claims, prevention-focused participants perceive these claims to be more manipulative than promotion-focused participants (Kirmani and Zhu 2007). When individuals' regulatory orientations were compatible with the product attributes emphasised in the ad, the messages in the ad were more persuasive, than when it was not (Latimer et al. 2008; Lin and Shen 2012; Zhao and Pechmann 2007). Promotion-focused individuals found that messages were more persuasive when hedonic[1] attributes were emphasised, and prevention-focused individuals found messages with utilitarian attributes more convincing (Chernev 2004). In regard to brand evaluations, when promotion- focused individuals viewed hedonic attributes framed as gains, and prevention- focused individuals viewed utilitarian attributes framed as losses, results were more favourable (Lin and Shen 2012). Concerning deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social, the matching of regulatory focus appears to bolster the persuasiveness of the messages (Pentina and Taylor 2013). Varying mechanisms operate for each foci; prevention-oriented consumers centrally process offers which are representative of either foci, unlike their promotion-focused counterparts. Also, when individuals make judgements for distant persons, they are more influenced by promotion-framed adverts, although no differential framing effects on judgements of proximal entities exists (Park and Morton 2015).

  • [1] When a product is described as 'hedonic' it means that its purpose is to bring pleasure, fun and excitement to the user, in comparison to a 'utilitarian' product, which is primarily instrumental, and its purchase would be motivated by functional product aspects (Khan et al. 2005)
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