We propose that an individual's regulatory focus moderates the significant role social network density — the degree of interconnectedness among a person's social contacts — plays in shaping life satisfaction. Evidence from Study 1 indicates that participants with high prevention effectiveness reported higher life satisfaction when they were embedded in a high-density network, whereas participants with low promotion effectiveness reported lower life satisfaction when they were embedded in a low-density network. Study 2 further specifies the underlying mechanism, namely that participants with high prevention effectiveness are more likely to obtain support for meeting obligations and responsibilities when they are embedded in a high-density network, whereas participants with low promotion effectiveness suffer from the support for creative inspiration and personal development in a low-density network (by highlighting their promotion failure). Implications for studying the interplay between social networks and individuals' self-regulatory motives are discussed.
Zou, C., Paul Ingram, and E. Tory Higgins. "Social Networks and Life Satisfaction: The Interplay of Network Density and Regulatory Focus." Motivation and Emotion 39 (2015): 693-713.
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