Self-regulation of group members: The case of regulatory focus.

Kai Sassenberg, Karl-Andrew Woltin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a long time, research on motivation and (inter)group behaviour mainly
focused on needs and motives, but did not take self-regulation (i.e., the processes underlying motivated action) into account. Similarly, self-regulation research concentrated on the regulation of the personal self, but did not study the regulation of the social self. The current article summarizes work applying self-regulation approaches to intergroup behaviour. Within this approach, it has been shown (a) that the social self is regulated based on the same mechanisms as the personal self, (b) that intergroup contexts impact on group members’ self-regulation strategies, and (c) that the fit between an individual’s self-regulation strategy and the behavioural options provided by the group impact on group liking and potentially also on the integration of the group into the self-concept. The relation between current and earlier approaches to motivation in groups and further avenues for research on group-based self-regulation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-132
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • self-regualation
  • regulatory focus

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