How locomotion concerns influence perceptual judgments

Abigail A. Scholer, Baruch Eitam, Gertraud Stadler, E. Tory Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Successful self-regulation involves both assessment (e.g., making the right choices) and locomotion (e.g., managing change and movement). Regulatory mode theory is a motivational framework that highlights the ways in which these locomotion versus assessment concerns can receive differential emphasis across both individuals and situations. Although we know that locomotion motivation modulates goal-related movement, it is unclear whether these rather high-level concerns influence perceptual judgments of physical movement. Four studies investigated whether locomotion motivation also increases individuals' perceptual judgments of movement. Across studies, whether locomotion motivation was measured (Studies 1a and 1b) or manipulated (Studies 2 and 3), individuals high in locomotion motivation judged more movement in static images relative to individuals chronically low in locomotion (Studies 1a and 1b) and to individuals in an assessment motivational state (Studies 2 and 3). Implications for understanding the nature of locomotion motivation, and motivated perceptual judgments more generally, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-244
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Guilford Publications, Inc.


  • Assessment
  • Locomotion
  • Movement
  • Perception
  • Regulatory mode
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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