Regulatory Mode: Locomotion and Assessment

In executing any behavior, we typically go through two basic phases: First we “look” things over, that is, assess the situation, determine what to do, and then we “leap” into action.  People differ widely what phase they emphasize. Some people are “assessors”. They spend a considerable amount of time and effort in examining a situation, debating internally the pros and cons of every option. Others are predominantly “locomotors” they leap quickly to action, without thought and, as the Nike ad has it “just do it.” At the same time, circumstances can push people toward the “assessment” or toward the “locomotion” end of the scale. Our findings also show, that different cultures can be viewed as predominantly “assessor cultures” or “locomotor cultures”. 


Our lab developed scales that measure assessment and locomotion tendencies as personality characteristics, and we report the results of numerous studies that explore the consequences of these tendencies on people’s thoughts feelings and actions. Papers that describes these studies are included in the present section.  

Peer-Reviewed Papers

Baldner, C., Pierro, A. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2020). Moving Toward Helping Behavior: The Roles of Sympathy, Helping Goal Attainability, and Locomotion Orientation. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 42(3), 133-149​. PDF

Amato, C., Baldner, C. S., Pierro, A., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2019). “Tempus Divitiae”: Locomotion orientation and evaluation of time as a precious resource. Time & Society, 28(3), 1105-1123. PDF

 Lo Destro, C., Chernikova, M., Pierro, A., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2019). Effect of regulatory modes on work performance: the moderating role of job familiarity and job complexity/El efecto del modo de regulación en el rendimiento laboral: el rol moderador de la familiaridad con el trabajo y la complejidad de la tarea. Revista de Psicología Social, 34(1), 1-25. PDF

Komissarouk, S., Chernikova, M., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2019). Who Is Most Likely to Wear Rose-Colored Glasses? How Regulatory Mode Moderates Self Flattery. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(3), 327-341. PDF

Di Santo, D., Baldner, C., Pierro, A., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2018). A “bridge” over troubled water: Implications of the effect of locomotion mode on hopelessness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 48(12), 675-682. PDF

Dugas, M., Crowley, K., Gao, G. G., Xu, T., Agarwal, R., Kruglanski, A. W., & Steinle,  N. (2018). Individual differences in regulatory mode moderate the effectiveness of a pilot mHealth trial for diabetes management among older veterans. PloS one, 13(3), e0192807. PDF

Pierro, A., Pica, G., Giannini, A. M., Higgins, E. T., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2018). Letting myself go forward past wrongs: How regulatory modes affect self-forgiveness. PloS One, 13(3), e0193357. PDF

Pierro, A., Chernikova, M., Destro, C. L., Higgins, E. T., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2018). Assessment and locomotion conjunction: How looking complements leaping… but not always. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 58, 243-299. PDF

Chernikova, M., Lo Destro, C., Pierro, A., Higgins, E. T., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2017). A multilevel analysis of person-group regulatory mode complementarity: The moderating role of group task interdependence. Group Dynamics, 21(2), 108-120. PDF

Lo Destro, C., Chernikova, M., Pierro, A., & Aiello, A. (2017). Who’s most likely to get stressed and leave the company? Effects of regulatory mode on work stress and turnover intentions. Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 24(4), 1-13. PDF

Lo Destro, C., Chernikova, M., Pierro, A., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2016). Practice benefits locomotors: Regulatory mode complementarity and task performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(4), 358-365. PDF

 Chernikova, M., Destro, C. L., Mauro, R., Pierro, A., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2016). Different strokes for different folks: Effects of regulatory mode complementarity and task complexity on performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 89,  134-142. PDF

Bélanger, J. J., Pierro, A., Mauro, R., Falco, A., De Carlo, N., & Kruglanski, A. W.  (2016). It’s About Time: The Role of Locomotion in Withdrawal Behavior. Journal of Business and Psychology, 31(2), 265-278. PDF

Kruglanski, A. W., Pierro, A., & Higgins, E. T. (2016). Experience of time by people on the go: A theory of the locomotion–temporality interface. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(2), 100-117. PDF

Bélanger, J.J, Pierro, A, Kruglanski, A.W, Vallerand, R.J., De Carlo, N & Falco, A. (2015). On feeling good at work: the role of regulatory mode and passion in psychological adjustment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45, 319–329. PDF

Pica, G., Amato, C., Pierro, A., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2015). The early bird gets the worm: On locomotors’ preference for morningness. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 158-160. PDF

De Carlo, N. A., Falco, A., Pierro, A., Dugas, M., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T.  (2014). Regulatory mode orientations and well-being in an organizational setting: the differential mediating roles of workaholism and work engagement. Journal of Applied  Social Psychology, 44(11), 725-738. PDF

Kruglanski, A.W., Pierro, A., Mannetti, L., & Higgins, E.T. (2013). The Distinct Psychologies of “Looking” and “Leaping:” Assessment and Locomotion as the Springs of Action. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 79-92. PDF

Pierro, A., Giacomantonio, M., Pica, G., Giiannini, A.M., Kruglanski, A.W., & E.T. Higgins (2013). Persuading drivers to refrain from speeding: Effects of message sidedness and regulatory fit. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, 917-925. PDF

Pierro, A., Giacomantonio, M., Pica, G., Kruglanski, A.W., & E.T. Higgins (2013). Locomotion and the preference for multi-tasking: Implications for well-being. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 213-223. PDF

Pierro, A., Giacomantonio, M., Pica, G., Mannetti, L. Kruglanski, A.W., & E.T. Higgins (2013). When comparative ads are more effective: Fit with audience’s regulatory mode. Journal of Economic Psychology, 38, 90-103. PDF

Pierro, A., Pica, G., Klein, K., Kruglanski, A.W., Higgins, E.T. (2013). Looking back or moving on: How regulatory mode affects nostalgia. Motivation and EmotionPDF

Pierro, A., Pica, G., Mauro, R., Kruglanski, A.W., & Higgins, E.T. (2013). How regulatory modes work together: Locomotion-assessment complementarity in work performance. TPM-Testing Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 19, 247-262. PDF

Mannetti, L., Pierro, A., Higgins, E.T. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2012). Maintaining physical exercise: How locomotion moderates the full attitude-intention-behavior relation. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 295-303. PDF

Orehek, E., Mauro, R., Kruglanski, A.W., & van der Bles, A.M. (2012). Prioritizing association strength versus value: The influence of self-regulatory modes on means evaluation in single goal and multigoal contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 22-31. PDF

Pierro, A., Giacomantonio, M., Mannetti, L., Higgins, E.T. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2012). Leaders as planners and movers: Supervisors’ regulatory modes and subordinates’ performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42, 2564-2582. PDF

Pierro, A., Presaghi, F., Higgins, E.T., Klein, K. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2012). Frogs and ponds: A multilevel analysis of the regulatory mode compelementarity hypothesis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 269-279. PDF

Pierro, A., Giacomantonio, M., Pica, G., Kruglanki, A.W., & Higgins, E.T. (2011). On the psychology of time in action: Regulatory mode orientations and procrastination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1317-1331. PDF

Mannetti, L. Leder, S., Insalata, L., Pierro, A., Higgins, T., & Kruglanski, A. (2009). Priming the ant or the grasshopper in people’s mind: How regulatory mode affects inter temporal choices. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 1120-1125. PDF

Mauro, R., Pierro, A., Mannetti, L., Higgins, E.T. & Kruglanski, A.W. (2009). The perfect mix: Regulatory complementarity and the speed-accuracy balance in group performance. Psychological Science, 20, 681-685. PDF

Pierro, A., Orehek, E., & Kruglanski, A.W., (2009). Let there be no mistake! On assessment mode and the transference effect in social perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 879-883. PDF

Pierro, A., Presaghi, F., Higgins, T.E., & Kruglanski, A.W. (2009) Regulatory mode preferences for autonomy-supporting vs. controlling instructional styles. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 599-615. PDF

Bornavalova, M.A., Fishman, S., Strong, D.R., Kruglanski, A.W., & Lejuez, C.W. (2008). Borderline personality disorder in the context of self-regulation: Understanding symptoms and hallmark features as deficits in locomotion and assessment. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 22-31. PDF

Pierro, A., Leder, S., Mannetti, L., Higgins, E.T., & Kruglanski, A.W., Aiello, A. (2008). Regulatory mode effects on counterfactual thinking and regret. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 321-329. PDF

Kruglanski, A.W., Pierro, A., Higgins, E.T. (2007) ‘On the move’ or ‘staying put’: Locomotion, need for closure, and reactions to organizational change. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1305-1340. PDF

Kruglanski, A.W. , Pierro, A. & Higgins, E.T. (2007). Regulatory mode and preferred leadership styles: How fit increases job satisfaction. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29, 137-149. PDF

Presaghi F., Pierro A., Kruglanski A.W., T. Higgins, (2007). Modi regolatori e stili di insegnamento (Regulatory modes and reaching styles). Psicologia Sociale, 1, 149-165. PDF

Pierro, A., Kruglanski, A.W. & Higgins, E.T. (2006). Progress takes work: Effects of the locomotion dimension on job involvement, effort investment, and task performance in organizations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 1723-1743. PDF

Higgins, E.T., Kruglanski, A.W. & Pierro, A. (2003). Regulatory Mode: Locomotion and assessment as distinct orientations. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 293-344. PDF

Kruglanski, A.W., Thompson, E.P., Higgins, E. T., Atash, M.N., Pierro, A., Shah, J.Y., Spiegel, S. (2000). To Do the Right Thing! or to Just Do It!: Locomotion and Assessment as Distinct Self-Regulatory Imperatives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 793-815. PDF