Mind-sets can be thought of as psychological orientations that influence how individuals construe and interact with the world. For example, some people might construe a meeting with a boss as an opportunity to advance and get ahead—a promotion-focus mind-set. In contrast, other people might construe the exact same meeting as an obligation where their focal objective is to avoid making mistakes and looking bad—a prevention-focus mind-set. Across the life span, mind-sets can affect how people make judgments and decisions. In this entry, we provide an overview of mind-sets that people gravitate to and how mind-sets can vary both across situations and across one’s life span.

Types of Mind-Sets

A first pair of mind-sets is promotion and prevention focus. A promotion-focus mind-set focuses individuals on nurturance goals and ...

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