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The influence of regulatory focus and self-discrepancy on cognition in younger and older adults

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:37 authored by Leann K. Lapp
There exists substantial literature describing how the two motivational systems of promotion and prevention (Regulatory Focus Theory; Higgins, 1997) influence behaviour. However, the specific cognitive correlates of regulatory focus remain unclear. Furthermore, how regulatory focus may influence the course of cognitive aging is unknown. Experiment 1 compared healthy older and younger adults on Higgins' measure of self-discrepancy and explored relationships with cognition. Experiment 2 compared younger adults induced into either a promotion or prevention focus relative to a no-induction control condition on measures of cognition. The results from Experiment 1 revealed that while the magnitude of self-discrepancy remains constant across the lifespan, the evaluation and content of self goals changes with age. The results from Experiment 2 suggest that the effects of the regulatory focus induction are limited but specific to particular aspects of memory and perception. Overall, these findings may contribute to our understanding of aging and motivated cognition.



Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type