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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.606847

Need for Cognition is positively related to promotion focus and negatively related to prevention focus Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1DCS Corporation (United States), United States
  • 2CCDC Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering, US Army Research Laboratory, United States

Need for cognition (NFC) and regulatory focus (RF) are important individual differences in motivation and goal pursuit. These constructs are widely used in the literature, often separately; no work has simultaneously examined the Need for Cognition scale (NCS) and Lockwood’s General Regulatory Focus Measure (GRFM). Here we explore shared theoretical underpinnings of the two constructs and assess whether they may be driven by common underlying factors. Considering purported overlaps between these scales and other constructs (e.g. personality, cognitive processes), we take a strong inference approach to test hypothesized bridges between the two measures. In a large (N=853) sample, we found NCS to be related positively to GRFM promotion and negatively to GRFM prevention scores, supporting mutual ties with BIS/BAS, intrinsic motivation, openness, and creativity. A generalized approach motivation, as well as intrinsic motivation, may thus drive both NFC and RF.

Keywords: regulatory focus, Need for cognition (NFC), Motivation, five factor personality, Behavioral inhibition / behavioral activation systems(BIS/BAS)

Received: 15 Sep 2020; Accepted: 10 Jun 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Oiknine, Pollard, Khooshabeh and Files. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Ashley H. Oiknine, DCS Corporation (United States), Alexandria, United States,