“I” Seek Pleasures and “We” Avoid Pains: The Role of Self-Regulatory Goals in Information Processing and Persuasion

  • Aaker J
  • Lee A
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In four experiments, we show that goals associated with approach and avoidance needs influence persuasion and that the accessibility of distinct self-views moderates these effects. Specifically, individuals with an accessible independent selfview are more persuaded by promotion-focused information that is consistent with an approach goal. In contrast, individuals whose interdependent self-view is more accessible are more persuaded by prevention focused information that is consistent with an avoidance goal. When the persuasive appeal is compatible with self-regulatory focus, individuals demonstrate greater recall of the message content and are more discerning regarding argument strength. These findings provide convergent evidence that central processing under goal compatible conditions underlies the persuasion effects.

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  • Jennifer L. Aaker

  • Angela Y. Lee

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