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Can regulatory focus help explain why we shop differently online?

Atorough, Peter; Donaldson, Bill


Peter Atorough

Bill Donaldson


As an important behavioral trait in consumer psychology, regulatory focus (RF) has been proven to describe and predict human behavior in numerous situations as it demonstrates that individuals can be distinguished according to two independent structures of strategic inclination and orientation in the pursuit of goals: promotion focus and prevention focus. However, to date no research has explicitly considered the potential link between RF and perceived risk in the various dimensions of online shopping (OS). This paper aims to fill this gap. By developing an RF model of online consumer shopping behavior (REFCOS) covering motives, behaviors, and continuance-evaluation and empirically testing a number of hypotheses, we find how consumers with different foci use the Internet. Our findings provide confirmatory evidence for emerging literature that RF is a powerful predictor of behavior in OS.


ATOROUGH, P. and DONALDSON, B. 2011. Can regulatory focus help explain why we shop differently online? A proposed model and research agenda. Contemporary management research [online], 7(3), pages 231-242. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2011
Online Publication Date Dec 31, 2011
Publication Date Nov 30, 2011
Deposit Date Jun 6, 2012
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2012
Journal Contemporary management research
Print ISSN 1813-5498
Electronic ISSN 1813-5498
Publisher Contemporary Management Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Pages 231-242
Keywords Internet shopping; Regulatory focus theory; Consumer behaviour; REFCOS
Public URL
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