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  1. #1

    Default Promotion vs. Prevention Focus

    I hesitate linking a Psychology Today post because it seems like the magazine has just become an ad service for pop psychologists selling their books.
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...ention-focused

    But I've read Heidi Grant Halvorson book, and she seems to do good research.

    Most people in every workplace, classroom, or community on the planet belong to one of two camps. In Camp #1, there’s Jon - the kind of person that some people might call “difficult,” though probably he (and we) would prefer the term “skeptic.” It is a challenge to get to the end of a sentence in Jon’s presence without having him interrupt you to tell you how the beginning of it was all wrong. He is immaculate in his appearance, chooses his words with precision, and never procrastinates. He is, by nature, a pessimist (the defensive kind that we describe later) – try to tell him things are going to work out just fine and watch as he gets visibly uncomfortable with your reckless and naïve attitude.

    <more at link>
    My summary of this idea based on reading her book:
    -Promotion focus makes you more excited as you get close to your goal (of promoting something into your life), but completely deflates you when you are far away.
    -Prevention focus makes you more anxious and energetic as you get furthest from your goal (of preventing something from entering your life), and leads to calm state and less energy as you get close to completely preventing something from your life (and possibly loose steam).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Default

    I believe these two types can collaborate succesfully. I'm a bit more like Ray - not terribly so, because knowing my tendency I usually try to be as pessimistic as I can be to move towards a more realistic picture of reality. However, I like having more critical (but still kind, not the "destroyer" critic) colleagues, especially if the calmly point out specific flaws in my work such that I can work on them. Because I often simply cannot think about all the possible negative scenarios before I meet them, especially if I'm doing something new. I've also often found that "promotion" types don't truly enjoy working long-term with other "promotion" types because neither will be able to fully exploit his best abilities.

    Obviously, this prevention-promotion is just a scale, too. So I am very prevention-focussed compared to my very sunny and optimistic father, but I am fairly promotion-focused compared to my very detail oriented and pessimistic girlfriend.

    Your question is different anyway. I would agree with your assessment.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #3

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    @FDG

    I didn't really pose a question. I just thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss.

    In my experience, I've found that I am more promotion focused than the women I've had relationships with, but more prevention focused than most of my colleagues.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4
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    It is a challenge to get to the end of a sentence in Jon’s presence without having him interrupt you to tell you how the beginning of it was all wrong.
    I wonder how would John like it if he were to be interrupted with a fist in the face.
    Maybe his focus will shift to prevention. Prevention from being hit again, that is.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daenera View Post
    I wonder how would John like it if he were to be interrupted with a fist in the face.
    Maybe his focus will shift to prevention. Prevention from being hit again, that is.
    His focus is already on prevention, and probably already prepared for this contingency

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    His focus is already on prevention, and probably already prepared for this contingency
    Damn. In that case I'm hoping he'll notice I've spelled his name wrong and gets pissed( being obsessed with mistakes and all), cause there's nothing like making hypothetical people angry.

    Everyone is promotion-focused when they line up for a lottery ticket, and prevention-focused when they line up for a flu shot.
    I wonder what would it look like if people suddenly started being prevention-focused about the lottery ticket and promotion-focused lining up for a flu shot.

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