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Self-affirmation: a regulatory fit analysis

Alexander, Kira Marie (2014) Self-affirmation: a regulatory fit analysis. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Self-affirmation, in which individuals reflect on important personal values or attributes and thereby reinforce their perceptions of self-worth and self-integrity, has been shown to reduce defensive behavior associated with a wide variety of threats to the self. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. The present studies derived hypotheses from Regulatory Fit Theory to investigate a potentially important but unstudied mechanism for explaining self-affirmation effects. Study One, which employed a two-condition between-participants design with self-affirmation (self-affirmed or non-affirmed) as the independent variable, was designed to test the hypothesis that a standard self-affirmation induction produces promotion focus. Results partially confirmed this hypothesis. Study Two, which employed a 3 (Self-Affirmation: promotion-affirmation vs. prevention-affirmation vs. standard affirmation) X 2 (Behavioral Strategy: eager vs. vigilant) between-participants analysis of covariance design, was designed to test the hypothesis that the effectiveness of self-affirmation for motivating health-related behavior can be influenced by the “fit” between the regulatory focus induced by the self-affirmation manipulation and the strategic means used to engage in the behavior. Results provided partial support for this hypothesis and confirmed that a standard self-affirmation induction produces promotion focus. Theoretical and applied implications of the findings are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alexander, Kira
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLevine, Johnjml@pitt.eduJML
Committee MemberCreswell, J.
Committee MemberNokes-Malach, Timothynokes@pitt.eduNOKES
Committee MemberMoreland, Richardcslewis@pitt.eduCSLEWIS
Date: 26 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 March 2014
Approval Date: 26 May 2014
Submission Date: 31 March 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 131
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-affirmation Regulatory focus Regulatory fit Motivation Health behavior
Date Deposited: 26 May 2014 23:04
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:18


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