Like or dislike: Intrapersonal regulatory fit affects the intensity of interpersonal evaluation

Melvyn R. W. Hamstra*, Nico W. Van Yperen, Barbara Wisse, Kai Sassenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Regulatory fit is an experience of motivational force that makes individuals feel ‘right’. Prior work has almost exclusively focused on how regulatory fit affects individuals' experience of tasks, activities, and products and has primarily focused on the bright side of regulatory fit. The current research sought to provide evidence that the motivational force from regulatory fit affects interpersonal evaluation, and to reveal both the bright and dark side of regulatory fit. Specifically, experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that regulatory fit between evaluator regulatory focus (measured or imposed) and the regulatory focus expressed in an application letter, enhances liking for the job applicant. Experiments 3 and 4 show that incidentally induced regulatory fit (relative to non-fit) enhances liking for an initially liked target person but enhances disliking for an initially hated target person. Hence, this research helps better understand consequences of regulatory fit for interpersonal evaluation, both like and dislike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-731
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Regulatory fit
  • Motivation
  • Liking
  • Disliking
  • Interpersonal attraction

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