E. Tory Higgins
Stanley Schachter Professor
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1973
General Area of Research
Motivation & social cognition; judgment & decision making; self-regulatory biases & vulnerabilities.
Current research addresses the general question, "Where does value come from?" The classic answer to this question is that value comes from the hedonic experiences-- the pleasures and pains-- associated with some activity or object. The Higgins lab is examining another source of value experience-- how strongly one is engaged in something. Strength of engagement can be increased or decreased by several different factors. In one research program, the Higgins lab has shown that engagement strength increases when there is a fit between the manner in which people pursue a goal and their current motivational state during the goal pursuit. This regulatory fit increases the intensity of the response to something, whether that response is positive or negative. The implications of regulatory fit in particular, and engagement strength in general, are being examined in the areas of negotiation, decision making, person perception, interpersonal relationships, persuasion and performance.
Higgins, E.T. (2006). Value from hedonic experience and engagement. Psychological Review.
Higgins, E.T., Idson, Chen, L., Freitas, A.L., Spiegel, S., and Molden, D.C. (2003). Transfer of value from fit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 (6), 1140–1153.
Higgins, E.T. (2000). Making a good decision: Value from fit. American Psychologist, 55, 1217–1230.
Courses Frequently Taught
Psychology Dept. &
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