The Benefits of Interpersonal Regulatory Fit for Individual Goal Pursuit

Francesca Righetti*, Catrin Finkenauer, Caryl Rusbult

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present work examines whether individual goal pursuit is influenced by advice and suggestions from interaction partners whose regulatory orientation is perceived to fit (vs. not fit) the individual's orientation. We sought to investigate whether such interpersonal regulatory fit yields motivational consequences for goal pursuit that parallel those of intrapersonal regulatory fit. Furthermore, we investigated whether these effects occur in a symmetrical fashion for promotion-and prevention-oriented individuals. The results of 6 experiments revealed that promotion-oriented individuals profit from interpersonal regulatory fit, experiencing motivational benefits when receiving goal-relevant advice from promotion-oriented interaction partners; however, prevention-oriented individuals do not profit from prevention-oriented interaction partners. These findings support the proposal that regulatory fit can fruitfully be examined as an interpersonal phenomenon, highlighting the role that interaction partners may play in the pursuit of personal goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-736
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Goals
  • Instrumentality
  • Interpersonal processes
  • Interpersonal regulatory fit
  • Regulatory focus


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