Regulatory Behavior Research Review Essay

People experience pride after an accomplishment, its experience can both encourage and discourage succeeding regulatory behavior. This conflicting influence can be accounted for by considering the information about the event that spawned the pride (i.e., appraisal information) and whether a self-regulatory goal is active. In the absence of a self-regulatory goal, appraisal information can be used to make positive assumptions about one’s self-concept that reinforces further self-regulation. In the company of a self-regulatory goal, appraisal information concerning personal agency can be used to make positive inferences about a person’s progress toward self-regulation that leads to indulgence.

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Pride is a positive self-conscious emotion that results from personal achievements. They investigated the matter by assessing how the experience of authentic pride effected regulatory behavior. They state that pride can be used to make inferences about one’s self-concept or self-regulatory goal progress. Self-concept presumptions are a default response, whereas goal progress interpretations occur when a self-regulatory goal is active. Importantly, the extent of these inferences should depend on the nature of the appraisal information that led to the pride.

Similarly, pride that is a consequence of personal agency should be more likely to achieve a goal progress inference than pride that is a aftereffect of another agency. The article is organized as follows, first provide an overview of appraisal-tendency theory. Next discuss the emotion-as-input perspective and its claim that the influence of emotions on behavior depends on circumstantial factors. Then, the functionalist perspective of emotions to predict when pride will result in self-concept or goal progress will determine regulatory behavior. the type of inference that results from pride depends on the appraisal information that elicited the pride. And whether a self-regulatory goal is active or inactive. Finally, they look at the broader involvement framework for studying the effects of self-conscious emotions on behavior.

Classic appraisal theories group discrete emotions based on differences, such as pleasantness, arousal, certainty, effort, agency, and novelty.

The functionalist perspective builds on the appraisal-tendency. functionalist perspective assumes that emotions influence behavior as a function of a person’s interaction to their environment. functionalist perspective explains how two different emotions can alter behavior, given the same response, and how two different response blueprint can change behavior, given the same emotion. through an appraisal theory lens of perspective, only appraisal information that changes the emotional experience from one emotion to another influence ensuing behavior. The researchers have come up with two supporting hypotheses (H1a, H1b)


H1a states in the absence of a self-regulatory goal, an experience of pride containing high effort (but not low effort) appraisal information will encourage inferences of self-discipline, inform the default response schema, and increase regulatory behavior. (SALERNO, A., LARAN, J., & JANISZEWSKI, C. (2015).


In the presence of a self-regulatory goal, an experience of pride containing high effort appraisal. information will encourage inferences of goal progress, inform the goal-based response schema and decrease regulatory behavior. (SALERNO, A., LARAN, J., & JANISZEWSKI, C. (2015).

Consistent with the functionalist perspective, appraisal information will not influence all response schemata in the same way. It should be possible to employ appraisal information so the ramifications of this use are only observed when a certain response schema is available. In recognition to the default response consider appraisal information that arise.


Participants and Design. A total of 182 undergraduate students (52% female, M age =20.30) participated in exchange for course credit. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions in a (self-regulatory goal inactive vs. active) and (emotion: no-emotion, low effort pride, high-effort pride) between-subjects design.


Participants were told that there were three studies in the session, unrelated and pooled together for convenience. The first study was intended to determine people’s verbal capabilities, but truthfully it was a lexical decision task that served as the goal manipulation. Participants were told to focus their attention on a fixation point on the computer screen that would be replaced by a letter string. They were told to press “nine” on the keyboard if the letter string was a word and “one” if it was not, and to respond as quickly as possible. After five practice trials, seven target trials varied by condition. Participants in the active self-regulatory goal condition were shown words regulate, health, persistence, willpower, strive, control, virtue; participants in the inactive self-regulatory goal condition were shown neutral words as computer, flower, refrigerator, notebook, picture, silk, next. Each participant saw the target words twice, along with five filler words, and 20 non-words. The trial order was random.

The Study demonstrates that the influence of pride depends on appraisal information and self-regulatory goal activation. High-effort pride increased (decreased) regulatory behavior when a self-regulatory goal was not (was) active, but low effort pride did not have an influence on the amount of regulatory behavior. These effects occurred even though a pretest confirmed that low- and high-effort pride generated an equivalent level of pride. This shows us that the appraisal information that generated the pride informed inferences about the self-concept or goal progress.

One issue I saw within the article was students were given class credit to participate in the study. Although it is not frowned upon. Many students could have knowledge of that they were looking for and manipulating responses and changing data. The adverse could also be said that participants didn’t care about correct responses. If they made it through to the end to achieve their credit.

In closing I do believe there is a significance to the field of psychology. Pride tends to be a necessary evil for many. We are raised to take pride in all we do, a prideful person can take their pride to far and it starts to border on arrogance. Further study to determine that level of pride or how much pride until it spills over to arrogance? Could it be that mass amounts of pride/ arrogance is just personal preception?

(American Psychological Assoc.)


SALERNO, A., LARAN, J., & JANISZEWSKI, C. (2015). Pride and Regulatory Behavior: The Influence of Appraisal Information and Self-Regulatory Goals. Journal Of Consumer Research, 42(3), 499-514. doi:10.1093/jcr/ucv037

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