Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 114–129 | Cite as

Commitment to change from locomotion motivation during deliberation

  • Abigail A. ScholerEmail author
  • E. Tory Higgins
Original Paper


The factors that motivate commitment to behavioral change (e.g., quitting smoking) are important in understanding self-regulation processes. The current research examines how an individual’s motivational orientation during deliberation affects the likelihood that they will commit to change. Building on the insights of regulatory mode theory (Higgins et al. in Advances in experimental social psychology. Academic Press, New York, vol 35, pp 293–344, 2003), we propose that increased commitment to change can result from increased locomotion motivation in the deliberation phase. Three studies provide evidence that increased commitment to change is related to locomotion motivation arising either from a chronic orientation or from a movement-focused deliberation tactic that intensifies that orientation. Although locomotion motivation is typically associated with goal pursuit, the current work highlights the impact that locomotion motivation can have on commitment to change in the initial deliberation phase.


Regulatory mode Goal commitment Change Deliberation Motivation 



This research was supported in part by Grant 39429 from the National Institute of Mental Health to E. Tory Higgins. This article is based on the doctoral dissertation of the first author. The authors would like to thank Niall Bolger, Geraldine Downey, Arie Kruglanski, and Steve Stroessner for helpful feedback and discussion of the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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