Just Be Yourself? Regulatory Focus Moderates the Effects of Societal Standards Attainment on Personal Well-Being

Ann Haberman, Michael Gilead, Tory E. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined how living up to “societal standards” and how living up to one’s “self standards” affects individuals’ well-being. Based on Regulatory Focus Theory, we predicted that life satisfaction of “promotion- focused” individuals would be most affected by attainment of self standards and that life satisfaction of “prevention-focused” individuals would be most influenced by societal standards attainment. Four hundred sixteen participants in two studies completed measures of well-being and regulatory focus. They listed standards that matter to them and standards that matter to their society and rated the extent to which they manage to attain these standards. Attainment of both self and society standards uniquely contributed to life satisfaction. High promotion-predominant individuals’ life satisfaction was relatively more influenced by self standards attainment, whereas low promotion-predominant individuals’ life satisfaction was relatively more influenced by society standards attainment. The findings suggest that some individuals may pay higher prices if they “walk to their own drumbeat.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-267
Number of pages16
JournalMotivation Science
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Life satisfaction
  • Regulatory focus
  • Standards
  • Standards attainment
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Just Be Yourself? Regulatory Focus Moderates the Effects of Societal Standards Attainment on Personal Well-Being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this