Regulatory focus theory (e.g., Higgins, 1997) presented a differentiation between promotion orientation, focused on growth and advancement, and prevention orientation, focused on safety and security. Cross-culture differences in these systems generally show that that collectivist, Eastern cultures (mostly East-Asian cultures) are considered as prevention oriented whereas Western cultures are considered as promotion oriented. Two main claims that contribute to the refinement of the relations between culture and regulatory foci will be presented. The first refinement pertains to the relations between individualism-collectivism and regulatory foci on base of the vertical-horizontal distinction, showing that vertical collectivism is especially relevant to regulatory foci. The second claim challenges the traditional notion of uni-dimensional mapping of cultures on the prevention-promotion continuum. Cultural groups from Hong Kong and Israel were compared in their typical levels of regulatory foci and in reaction to different incentive framing (gain/non-gain vs non-loss/loss). The findings revealed a culture (Hong Kong) that is oriented to both, prevention and promotion, at least regarding achievement.
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