Assessment of Chronic Regulatory Focus
Chronic regulatory focus was measured by the Composite Regulatory Focus Scale (CRFS) (Haws et al. 2010) and was the ﬁrst portion of the experimental design. Several other methods exist to measure chronic regulatory focus, and they will be described herein. These are the Regulatory Focus Questionnaire (RFQ), developed by Higgins (2001), the BIS/BAS Scale by Carver and White (1994) to assess the regulatory systems developed by Gray (1990), Selves Questionnaire by Higgins (1986) and the measure developed by Lockwood (2002).
The RFQ has six reflective items assessing chronic promotion and ﬁve assessing
chronic prevention focus. The RFQ conceptualises promotion and prevention success using promotion and prevention pride respectively, which are anticipatory responses to new task goals derived from an individual's subjective history of promotion and prevention goal attainment success (Higgins 2002). Both the pre- vention and promotion sub-scales have a low correlation with each other, indicating independence (Haws et al. 2010).
Carver and White (1994) developed the BIS/BAS scale to assess Gray's (1990) regulatory systems. These refer to the Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS), sen- sitive to negative outcomes and the Behavioural Activation System (BAS), which is sensitive to positive outcomes. The seven BIS items reflect concerns about the possibility of a negative situation, and the ﬁve BAS items reflect one's respon- siveness to rewards, measured by excitement tendencies or arousal related to positive experiences. The third measure is the Selves Questionnaire, which assesses the degree of congruency between participants' actual, ideal and ought selves. Promotion and prevention foci are represented by the degree of similarity between individuals' actual and ideal selves, and their actual and ought selves (Brockner et al. 2002). For this method, participants provide six attributes which they would like to possess (ideals) or think they should possess (oughts) in random order. After this, they were asked to list the extent to which they would like to or should possess the attribute. They then indicate the degree to which they currently possess the aforementioned attribute. The differences between actual and either ideal or ought ratings are cal- culated for each attribute, and then summed to obtain the promotion and prevention focus measures (Higgins et al. 1997).
The measure developed by Lockwood (2002) is used to study motivation ini- tiated by role models. The eighteen items described include tenets of regulatory focus theory, and consider success and failure in goal pursuit, with nine reflective items for promotion and prevention foci. Like the RFQ, the Lockwood (2002) measure also displays a low correlation between the sub-scales.
Based on research conducted by Haws et al. (2010), the RFQ possesses superior comparative performance. However, it suffers from two limitations, which are, an absence of emotional content in its items, and items that are entirely past-oriented. Thus, a composite scale, the CRFS is proposed. It comprises ten items, each ﬁve for promotion and prevention focus. Four items from the RFQ (two promotion, two prevention), two from the BIS/BAS scale (one promotion, one prevention) and four items from Lockwood scale (two promotion, two prevention) are utilised for this scale (Haws et al. 2010).
The CRFS covers key tenets of regulatory focus theory, distinguishing between approach and avoidance within each regulatory focus, includes both cognitive and emotional measures and is comprised of past, present and future-oriented items. Haws et al. (2010) demonstrate that the CRFS possesses reliability, homogeneity and predictive validity. Thus, from a scale representativeness perspective, the CRFS overcomes the limitations from which the RFQ, as well as the other scales, indi- vidually suffer (Haws et al. 2010). As such, the CRFS has been selected for assessing chronic regulatory focus in this book.
The CRFS uses a seven-point Likert scale ranging from (1) not at all true of me to
(7) very true of me. The ﬁrst ﬁve items of the ten item scale are related to the promotion focus, and the last ﬁve relate to the prevention focus. If a participant scores higher in the ﬁrst ﬁve, a promotion focus is assigned, and if a participant scores higher in the last ﬁve, a prevention focus is assigned. The following section provides a brief overview of the eye tracking measure used to determine the validity of both hypotheses.