Regulatory Focus Theory

For centuries, the hedonic principle that people approach pleasure and avoid pain has been the dominant motivational principle for many disciplines and across all areas of psychology. Even when Sigmund Freud discussed the need to go beyond the pleasure principle because people were controlled by the reality principle—environmental demands—he was simply modifying the pleasure principle such that avoiding pain became almost equal in importance to approaching pleasure. But is that the end of the story of motivation? How does the hedonic principle itself work? Might not there be different ways to approach pleasure and avoid pain that tell us something about motivation beyond the hedonic principle per se? Regulatory focus theory was developed in response to these questions.

Evolutionary Perspective

Regulatory focus theory starts with an evolutionary ...

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