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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Feb;86(2):205-18.

Bringing the frame into focus: the influence of regulatory fit on processing fluency and persuasion.

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  • 1Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


This research demonstrates that people's goals associated with regulatory focus moderate the effect of message framing on persuasion. The results of 6 experiments show that appeals presented in gain frames are more persuasive when the message is promotion focused, whereas loss-framed appeals are more persuasive when the message is prevention focused. These regulatory focus effects suggesting heightened vigilance against negative outcomes and heightened eagerness toward positive outcomes are replicated when perceived risk is manipulated. Enhanced processing fluency leading to more favorable evaluations in conditions of compatibility appears to underlie these effects. The findings underscore the regulatory fit principle that accounts for the persuasiveness of message framing effects and highlight how processing fluency may contribute to the "feeling right" experience when the strategy of goal pursuit matches one's goal.

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