This article examines how broad motivations for security (prevention) or growth (promotion) differentially affect commitment to a chosen course of action in the presence of alternatives. Past research has demonstrated that when prevention-focused, people represent goals as standards that they feel obligated to maintain, whereas when promotion-focused, people represent goals as opportunities that they could ideally attain. Accordingly, prevention-focused individuals should be more likely to show sustained commitment to an existing goal when presented with desirable alternatives whereas promotion-focused individuals should be more likely to shift their effort and attention toward these alternatives. Two studies confirmed that, compared to promotion-focused individuals, prevention-focused individuals showed preferences to retain chosen objects even when offered more desirable options (Study 1), and showed a greater spread in their evaluations of chosen over non-chosen options post-choice (Study 2).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology