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Approaching Health: Does an Abstract Mindset Promote Positive Risk?

Feeney, Michael E (2015) Approaching Health: Does an Abstract Mindset Promote Positive Risk? Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Investigations of risky behavior often focus on negative or destructive risk taking such as drug use, unsafe sexual activity, and dangerous thrill seeking. Less often studied is positive risk, defined in this thesis as taking action when there is a higher probability for gain in the long term and loss in the short term. The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction of individual differences in goal attainment, known as regulatory focus style, and different mindsets on the endorsement of positive risk. Using a survey and vignette method, data was gathered from 159 undergraduate participants. First, regulatory focus style was measured by scores for prevention and promotion-focus on the Regulatory Focus Questionnaire. Next, participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: concrete mindset, abstract mindset, or control (no manipulation). Mindset was manipulated with a previously developed written task based in construal theory. Participants were then presented with a series of hypothetical scenarios in which positive risk was illustrated as a health seeking behavior. Mindset was hypothesized to moderate the relationship of regulatory focus style and positive risk, with abstract mindsets increasing positive risk endorsement. Higher promotion-focus was found to be a significant predictor of positive risk, but no interactions or main effects for prevention-focus or mindset were observed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Michael E. Feeney
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 10:56
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 10:56
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/231

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