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.
- regulatory mode