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Professor Leigh Ann Vaughn publishes article in Collabra: Psychology

Contributed by Leigh Ann Vaughn on 07/14/19 

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Psychology Professor Leigh Ann Vaughn has published "Distinguishing between Need Support and Regulatory Focus with LIWC" in Collabra: Psychology, the open-access flagship journal of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science.

This research used Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software to analyze the words people use to describe certain types of personal experiences. LIWC counts the words in a text sample that fall into 81 categories, which include pronouns, emotion words, and words about work. Participants were 1,988 adults in the U.S. and Canada. Each was randomly assigned to describe a time they pursued a hope, a time when they pursued a duty, a time when things went well (specifically, they wanted to do what they were doing, felt competent to do it, and felt close and connected to others), or a time when things did not go well. Descriptions of hopes and times that things went well were very positive in emotional tone, duties were less positive, and times that things did not go well were rather negative. Additionally, descriptions of duties and times that things went well involved more attention to interpersonal relationships than descriptions of hopes and times that things did not go well.

 

This research is important for testing a key hypothesis of the new need-support model (Vaughn, 2017), which is that hopes are not just about things going well and duties are not just about things not going well. The need-support model bridges a gap that has existed between two major psychological theories of motivation: regulatory focus theory and self-determination theory. Hopes and duties are important in regulatory focus theory, and things going well (specifically, wanting to do what you are doing, feeling competent to do it, and feeling close and connected to others) are important in self-determination theory. Research on the need-support model shows that hopes are more about things going well, and are duties are more about things not going well. The present LIWC research is important because it shows how regulatory focus theory and self-determination theory remain distinct in important ways, even though the need-support model connects them. This research on the need-support model encourages researchers to see how the ideas in each theory extend the other theory, which could enhance what we know about motivation.

 

 

Grants from the Ithaca College Office of the Provost supported this research.

 

Professor Leigh Ann Vaughn publishes article in Collabra: Psychology | 0 Comments |
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