Regulatory Focus As a Moderator of Persuasion in Message Framing: a Test of Three Accounts

A review of previous literature shows that there are at least three ways in which regulatory focus may be related to message framing. Specifically, three opposing accounts propose that persuasion is enhanced when there is a fit between a person’s regulatory focus (a) and the overall valence of the message (i.e., positive vs. negative valence), (b) and the outcome focus of the message (i.e., gain vs. loss anchor), (c) and the type of benefit or harm emphasized (i.e., achievement vs. security), respectively. In order to resolve these inconsistencies, we used a 2 (overall valence) by 2 (outcome focus) by 2 (type of benefit emphasized) factorial design. Our lab experiment showed that the gain-anchored messages were more persuasive than the loss-anchored messages when the message emphasized an achievement-related benefit, and that the opposite was true when a security-related benefit was emphasized. When participants' regulatory foci were introduced as moderators, the results were most consistent with the account that posited that persuasion is enhanced by a fit between regulatory focus and overall valence of the message.


Yi Sunghwan and Baumgartner Hans (2007) ,"Regulatory Focus As a Moderator of Persuasion in Message Framing: a Test of Three Accounts", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 262-263.


Yi Sunghwan, University of Guelph, Canada
Baumgartner Hans, Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A.


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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