Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 1111–1123 | Cite as

Regulatory Fit in Self-Enhancement and Self-Protection: Implications for Life Satisfaction in the West and the East

  • Marc-André K. LafrenièreEmail author
  • Constantine Sedikides
  • Xuejun Lei
Research Paper


This online study examined whether regulatory focus and culture moderate the links between self-enhancement/self-protection and life satisfaction. The study assessed promotion and prevention foci, manipulated self-enhancement or self-protection, and measured self-reported life satisfaction in both Western participants (127 English-speaking individuals; 73 female, 50 male, 4 unspecified; M age = 29.01, SD age = 10.26) and Chinese participants (141 Zhanjiang Normal University members; 88 females, 53 males; M age = 22.18, SD age = 3.14). Promotion-focused individuals experienced higher life satisfaction when engaging in self-enhancement strivings, whereas prevention-focused individuals experienced equal levels of life satisfaction when engaging in self-protection strivings, in both Western and Chinese participants. Furthermore, Western participants manifested higher levels of life satisfaction when employing self-enhancement strivings independently of regulatory focus. On the other hand, Chinese participants experienced equivalent levels of life satisfaction when engaging in self-enhancement and self-protection strivings. The findings establish regulatory focus and culture as independent moderators of the association between self-enhancement/self-protection and life satisfaction.


Regulatory focus Culture Self-enhancement Self-protection Life satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc-André K. Lafrenière
    • 1
    Email author
  • Constantine Sedikides
    • 2
  • Xuejun Lei
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Center for Research on Self and Identity, School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyZhanjiang Normal UniversityZhanjiangChina

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