When Regulatory Fit Does Not ‘Feel Right’: the Inhibiting Effect of Contextually Dominant Decision Strategies

Mehdi Mourali, University of Calgary, Canada
Frank Pons, Universite Laval, Canada
Regulatory fit theory maintains that when people use decision strategies that sustain versus disrupt their current motivational orientation, they value the decision process more, feel more confident about their reactions, and even offer more money for a chosen option. We proposed that the presence of contextual fit, which results from a strong association between a particular decision context and a particular decision strategy, can inhibit the effects of regulatory fit. In study 1, we used a selection/elimination decision paradigm and found that the effects regulatory fit on task enjoyment and satisfaction with choices disappeared when the choice task had a single right answer. In study 2, we found that participants who previously practiced using a particular decision strategy (attribute-based processing or attitude-based processing) were willing to pay more for a chosen product when the choice was made using a similar decision strategy to the one they practiced, regardless of their motivational orientation.
[ to cite ]:
Mehdi Mourali and Frank Pons (2008) ,"When Regulatory Fit Does Not ‘Feel Right’: the Inhibiting Effect of Contextually Dominant Decision Strategies", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 786-786.