Regulatory Focus Questionnaire

Updated on - Written by

Author of Tool: 

Higgins, E. T.

Key references: 

Freitas, A.L., & Higgins, E. T. (2002). Enjoying goal-directed action: The role of regulatory fit. Psychological Science, 13, 1-6. Higgins, E. T., Friedman, R. S., Harlow, R. E., Idson, L. C., Ayduk, O. N., & Taylor, A. (2001). Achievement orientations from subjective histories of success: Promotion pride versus prevention pride. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, 3-23. Higgins, E.T., Roney, C.J., Crowe, E., & Hymes, C. (1994).  Ideal versus ought predilections for approach and avoidance distinct self-regulatory systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 276-286.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The RFQ was designed to assess individuals’ orientations toward their goals.

Background: 

Regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) distinguishes between a promotion focus on hopes and accomplishments (gains) and a prevention focus on safety and responsibilities (non-losses).The Regulatory Focus Questionnaire RFQ differentiates between: A prevention focus that emphasizes safety and responsibility, views goals as oughts, and is concerned with non-losses and losses. Someone with a prevention focus is especially sensitive to the difference between “0” and “-1” (maintenance) and prefers a vigilant strategy. A promotion focus that emphasizes hopes and accomplishments, views goals as ideals, and is concerned with gains and non-gains. Someone with a promotion focus is especially sensitive to the difference between “0” and “+1” (attainment) and prefers an eager strategy. The RFQ contains two psychometrically distinct subscales. The Promotion subscale measures individuals’ subjective histories of promotion success, and the Prevention subscale measuresindividuals’subjective histories of prevention success. Higher scores on either the Promotion or Prevention subscale reflect individuals’ sense of their history of promotion or prevention success in goal attainment, respectively.

Psychometrics: 

For psychometrics, see article: Higgins, E.T., Roney, C.J., Crowe, E., & Hymes, C. (1994).  Ideal versus ought predilections for approach and avoidance distinct self-regulatory systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 276-286.

Files: 

PDF iconQuestionnaire and Instructions

Web link to tool: 

https://www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/higgins/measures.html#rfocusinduct

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 

https://dx.doi.org/10.13072/midss.661

Written by:

Midss Staff

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