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Abstract

The present research seeks to explain cross-cultural differences in two strategies for coping with unsuccessful outcomes (consideration of multiple options and persistence) through regulatory fit, a development of the self-regulation theory. We propose that, because of regulatory fit, eager consideration of multiple options is more encouraged in promotion-focused cultures, whereas vigilant persistence is more encouraged in prevention-focused cultures (a culture-strategy regulatory fit). In addition, if an incentive is introduced to motivate the use of these strategies, a gain-framed incentive is more effective in promotion-focused cultures whereas a loss-framed incentive is more effective in prevention-focused cultures (a culture-incentive regulatory fit). The hypotheses for the culture-strategy fit (Study 1) and the culture-incentive fit (Study 2) were both supported, with samples of Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs (in both studies), and Hong Kong Chinese (in Study 1). Taken together, the findings contribute to the understanding of cross-cultural differences in coping with unsuccessful outcomes and suggest the existence of cultural regulatory fit. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.