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PhD ceremony Mr. M.R.W. Hamstra: Self-regulation in a social environment

When:Th 19-09-2013 at 16:15

PhD ceremony: Mr. M.R.W. Hamstra, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Self-regulation in a social environment

Promotor(s): prof. N.W. van Yperen, prof. B.M. Wisse, prof. K. Sassenberg

Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Individuals possess motivated preferences for pursuing goals in a certain way, that is, for self-regulating using particular types of strategic means (Higgins, 1997). When individuals pursue goals, or anticipate pursuing goals, in a way that allows them to apply these preferred strategic means, they experience regulatory fit (Higgins, 2000). Regulatory fit refers to individuals’ experience that what they are doing is ‘right’, a feeling that they are behaving in a way that suits them. Regulatory fit enhances the strength of individuals’ motivation, gives them a sense of engagement and enjoyment in what they are doing, and enhances the value they attribute to the goal-pursuit process (Higgins, 2000). When individuals experience value from regulatory fit, it affects their evaluation of objects they encounter (e.g., products and persuasive messages; Cesario, Grant, & Higgins, 2004) and can make them engage more strongly and more persistently in their activities. Although psychologists have examined regulatory fit as an intrapersonal process, our knowledge on the nature and consequences of this process as it occurs in a social context is extremely limited. This dissertation focused on investigating (a) whether the intrapersonal experience of regulatory fit affects individuals’ responses to others and (b) whether regulatory fit can arise from characteristics of others in the social environment.

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