Skip to main content

Regulatory fit and health behavior

Uskul, Ayse K., Keller, Johannes, Oyserman, Daphna (2008) Regulatory fit and health behavior. Psychology & Health, 23 (3). pp. 327-346. ISSN 0887-0446. (doi:10.1080/14768320701360385) (KAR id:32393)

PDF (pre print) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (213kB) Preview
Official URL


Everyone prefers health to ill-health, though some worry more about ill health than others and for others abstract health concerns seem to pale compared with the prospect of immediate hedonic pleasures. Two studies (n = 90, n = 70) utilized a ‘fit’ in self-regulatory focus approach (Higgins, 2000) to describe when and how worrying about health (versus focus on hedonic pleasure) is likely to lead to distinct health behaviors. According to this model, individuals differ in their self-regulatory focus–some focus on reaching safety and security through vigilant and careful action (prevention focus) and others focus on opportunities to eagerly approach hopes and aspirations (promotion focus). We proposed that likelihood of engaging in health care-taking behaviors is higher among individuals who experience ‘prevention fit’–who are prevention-focused and are chronically or temporarily worried about health–whereas likelihood of engaging in eagerness-related behaviors that may be detrimental to health is higher among individuals who experience ‘promotion fit’–who are promotion-focused and chronically or temporarily experience thrill seeking. Prevention fit correlated with health care-taking behaviors (Study 1) and with readiness to engage in cancer detection behaviors (Study 2). Promotion fit correlated with using stimulants to overcome physical weakness (Study 1).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14768320701360385
Uncontrolled keywords: Health behavior, prevention, promotion, regulatory focus, regulatory fit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Ayse Uskul
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 16:36 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2020 04:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Uskul, Ayse K.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year