Stefanie Stella Como Humanities and Social Science
Regulatory Focus and Interethnic Interactions
Past research by Shelton, Richeson, and Salvatore (2005) has shown that minority group members feel less authentic interacting with people outside of their ethnic group than with their in-group. There are many reasons why people feel inauthentic during such interactions, but one likely part of the explanation is based on regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997). This theorizes that people interact with the world in two ways. People who are promotion focused gear themselves toward aspirations and gains; conversely, prevention focused people vigilantly avoid negative outcomes (Seibt & Forster, 2004). In my project I will test the hypothesis that stigmatized people who interact with someone outside of that group become more prevention focused and less promotion focused which leads them to modify their behavior and feel less authentic.