Regulatory Focus Questionnaire (RFQ)

The Regulatory Focus Questionnaire (RFQ) differentiates between: A prevention focus that emphasizes safety and responsibility, views goals as oughts, and is concerned with non-losses and losses. The RFQ was derived from a factor analysis of items assessing the history of individuals’ success at promotion and prevention tasks over the course of their lives. This questionnaire consists of 11 items that are answered on a scale of 1-5.


Self Awareness,
Self Management

Regulatory Focus, Promotion, Prevention

Post secondary

Administration Information

11 items

Access and Use


Higgins Lab at Columbia University - PI: E. Tory Higgins @

Open Access
Use in Research

Camacho, C. J., Higgins, E. T., & Luger, L. (2003). Moral value transfer from regulatory fit: What feels right is right and what feels wrong is wrong. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(3), 498-510.

Cesario, J., & Higgins, E. T. (2008). Making message recipients "feel right": How nonverbal cues can increase persuasion. Psychological Science, 19(5), 415-420.

Higgins, E. T., Friedman, R., Harlow, R. E., Idson, L. C., Ayduk, O. N., & Taylor, A. (2001). Achievement orientations from subjective histories of success: Promotion pride versus prevention pride. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31(1), 3-23.

Lockwood, P., Jordan, C. H., & Kunda, Z. (2002). Motivation by positive or negative role models: Regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 854-864.

Molden, D. C., & Higgins, E. T. (2004). Categorization under uncertainty: Resolving vagueness and ambiguity with eager versus vigilant strategies. Social Cognition, 22(2), 248-277.


Manual scoring
Psychometric References

Higgins, E.T., Roney, C.J., Crowe, E., & Hymes, C. (1994). Ideal versus ought predilections for approach and avoidance distinct self-regulatory systems. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 276-286.

Item Type

Psychometric Considerations

Psychometrics is the science of psychological assessment. A primary goal of EdInstruments is to provide information on crucial psychometric topics including Validity and Reliability – essential concepts of evaluation, which indicate how well an instrument measures a construct - as well as additional properties that are worthy of consideration when selecting an instrument of measurement.

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