The interplay of regulatory fit and construal level in influencing behavioral intention

Huajiao Chen1, Quanquan Zheng1, Jin Zhang1, Xiaomei Wang1
1Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Chen, H., Zheng, Q., Zhang, J., & Wang, X. (2015). The interplay of regulatory fit and construal level in influencing behavioral intention. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(9), 1441-1452.

Volume 43 Issue 9 | e4077 | Published: October 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.9.1441

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People experience regulatory fit when their strategy of how to achieve a goal accords with their regulatory orientation. It has been widely documented that regulatory fit could create value enhancement. We conducted 2 studies and our results showed that this was not the case when people were functioning at a high construal level (HCL) rather than a low construal level (LCL). Specifically, we found that for the HCL group of participants the effects of regulatory fit on both consumption intention (Study 1) and environmental intention (Study 2) were mitigated. Depending on construal level, the effect of fit versus nonfit on intention was mediated by processing fluency (Study 2). These results provided support for the proposal that an HCL helps people to distinguish objective information from subjective feelings, whereas an LCL is not implicated in making such a distinction.

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