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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Oct;83(4):854-64.

Motivation by positive or negative role models: regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. lockwood@psych.utoronto.ca

Abstract

In 3 studies, the authors demonstrated that individuals are motivated by role models who encourage strategies that fit their regulatory concerns: Promotion-focused individuals, who favor a strategy of pursuing desirable outcomes, are most inspired by positive role models, who highlight strategies for achieving success; prevention-focused individuals, who favor a strategy of avoiding undesirable outcomes, are most motivated by negative role models, who highlight strategies for avoiding failure. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors primed promotion and prevention goals and then examined the impact of role models on motivation. Participants' academic motivation was increased by goal-congruent role models but decreased by goal-incongruent role models. In Study 3, participants were more likely to generate real-life role models that matched their chronic goals.

PMID:
12374440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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