Regulatory Framing and Collective Action: The Interplay of Individual Self-Regulation and Group Behavior


Kimberly Quinn, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT UK. E-mail:


Two studies examined the relations between regulatory focus and collective action. In Study 1, undergraduate women expressed stronger action intentions when they were primed to consider prevention (ought-self) self-discrepancies than promotion (ideal-self) self-discrepancies, suggesting that collective action is more likely to occur when individuals are prevention- rather than promotion-focused. In Study 2, however, prevention-focused women expressed stronger action intentions in response to security framing, whereas promotion-focused women expressed stronger action intentions in response to achievement framing. This suggests that the relative disinterest in collective action among promotion-focused individuals can be overcome with the appropriate promotion-focused framing. Implications for analyses of both collective action and regulatory focus are discussed.