Return to the Regulatory Focus Induction page

Script Author: Katja Borchert, Ph.D. ( for Millisecond Software, LLC
Date: 01-14-2013
last updated: 01-22-2016 by K.Borchert ( for Millisecond Software LLC

Copyright © 01-22-2016 Millisecond Software


This script implements one regulatory focus induction task using "current ideals and oughts" to induce a 
Promotion vs. Prevention regulatory state as described by Dr. E. T. Higgins:

Higgins Lab:

Participants are asked to enter 3 hopes or three duties for themselves.

The default data stored in the data files are:

(1) Raw data file: 'RegulatoryFocusInduction_raw*.iqdat' (a separate file for each participant)

build:							Inquisit build
computer.platform:				the platform the script was run on
date, time, subject, group:		date and time script was run with the current subject/groupnumber 
blockcode, blocknum:			the name and number of the current block
trialcode, trialnum: 			the name and number of the currently recorded trial
									(Note: not all trials that are run might record data; by default data is collected unless /recorddata = false is set for a particular trial/block) 
stimulusitem:					the presented stimuli in order of trial presentation
response:						the participant's response
correct:						the correctness of the response (1 = correct; 0 = incorrect)
latency: 						the response latency (in ms)

(2) Summary data file: 'RegulatoryFocusInduction_summary*.iqdat' (a separate file for each participant)

script.startdate:				date script was run
script.starttime:				time script was started
script.subjectid:				subject id number
script.groupid:					group id number
script.elapsedtime:				time it took to run script (in ms)
computer.platform:				the platform the script was run on
/completed:						0 = script was not completed (prematurely aborted); 1 = script was completed (all conditions run)

Taken From the Higgins Lab:
"Current ideals or oughts (Freitas & Higgins, 2002)
Randomly assign half of participants to each condition. Participants should be blind to which condition they are in. 
Within each condition, participants can be asked to list 1 goal or 3 goals.

Please think about something you ideally would like to do.  In other words, think about a hope or aspiration 
that you currently have. Please list the hope or aspiration below.

Please think about something you think you ought to do. In other words, think about a duty or obligation 
that you currently have. Please list the duty or obligation below."

Reference: Freitas, A.L., & Higgins, E. T. (2002). Enjoying goal-directed action: The role of regulatory fit. 
Psychological Science, 13, 1-6.

(Note: the remaining ways to induce Regulatory Focus as described by Higgins on his website can be implemented in a similar

1. Assignment to Promotion Focus/ Prevention Focus done by groupnumber
2. number of goals by default is 3; can be changed under section EDITABLE PARAMETERS

check below for (relatively) easily editable parameters, stimuli, instructions etc. 
Keep in mind that you can use this script as a template and therefore always "mess" with the entire code to further customize your experiment.

The parameters you can change are:

/goalnumber:				sets how many goals participants are supposed to list

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