The effect of regulatory fit on influencing evaluations of risky online dating behaviours in Singapore
Date of Issue2016-12-02
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
The rise in online dating scams in recent years poses a safety threat to individuals seeking romance on the online dating platform. Scammers utilize an array of persuasion techniques taking advantage of victims’ trust and leave them with emotional trauma. Past studies on online dating scams focused primarily on examining victim characteristics and scammers’ persuasion techniques. Higgins and colleagues (2001) proposed regulatory focus as a possible dual-motivational system governing goal-directed behaviours in daily life. Individuals can either be primed to recall more past success with approach methods (promotion focus) or avoidance methods (prevention focus). Studies on regulatory focus highlight the application of regulatory focus to message frames to create regulatory fit, which induces a sense of “feeling right”. This sense of “feeling right” motivates individuals to process information more fluently and strengthens message persuasion. The present study creates an awareness message based on past research findings and evaluates the effect of regulatory fit on recall, persuasion, and risk evaluation. Results suggest that regulatory fit enhances the awareness message persuasion and strengthen overall recall. However, risk evaluation was unaffected by regulatory fit effects. The implications of results and future studies were further discussed. Law enforcement agencies were encouraged to apply regulatory fit effect to strengthen the persuasiveness and recall of online dating scam awareness messages.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University