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Research Article Open Access
Background: Individuals strive after goals through regulatory modes of assessment and locomotion. The independent inter-relationship between these two modes implies four profiles: assessor (i.e. high in assessment/low in locomotion), low regulator (i.e. low assessment/low locomotion), high regulator (i.e. high assessment/high locomotion), and locomotor (i.e. low assessment/high locomotion). We investigated the way individuals with different profiles organize the flow of time (i.e. past, present, and future) in order to explore how the outlook on time might be associated to changes in regulatory mode.
Method: High school pupils and university Students (N=522) answered to the Self-regulatory Mode Questionnaire and Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.
Results: The regulatory mode profiles had a significant effect on the five time perspective dimensions (F(15, 1548)=14.66, p<0.001, Pillias´Trace=0.37). Comparisons between individuals who differed in one regulatory mode but where similar in the other suggested that high levels of past positive and low levels of past negative were associated to low assessment when locomotion was high and to high locomotion when assessment was low. High levels in the future time perspective dimension were related to high levels of locomotion when assessment was high, while low levels of past negative were related to low assessment when locomotion was low.
Conclusion: The results illustrate the complexity of a dynamic system of regulation in which the same antecedents can lead to different outcomes (i.e. multi-finality) and different antecedents can lead to the same outcome (i.e. equifinality). Although only theoretical, this gives an idea of how some leaps might be abrupt as a quantum leap (i.e. extremely different profiles), while others might be serial (i.e. from one profile to another profile that shares the same level in one regulatory mode but that differs in the other).
Assessment, Complex dynamic systems, Locomotion, Motivation, Person-centred approaches, Regulatory mode, Time perspective, Mental health,Social cognitive psychology