The bright side of dark introjection: an overview on conceptualisations and operationalisations of introjected regulation

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Published abstract for conference with selection processResearchpeer-review


The bright side of dark introjection – an overview on conceptualisations and operationalsiations of introjected regulation Anna Wasserkampf & Jens Kleinert German Sport University Cologne, Germany Abstract Introjected regulation represents behavioural engagement to preserve/maintain a positive view of oneself. Phenomenologically, introjected regulation is described along themes of guilt, shame or ego-involvement, making it conceptually a controlled motivation. However, research showed associations with autonomous motivation that are more positive than self-determination-theory predicts. Definitions and measurement approaches of introjected regulation were compared to better understand the bright side of dark introjection. To better understand introjected regulation, definitions from handbooks and overview articles were analysed based on their content. Results of this analysis were compared with items from questionnaires assessing introjected regulation. Contexts under investigation included academic, health care, exercise and organisational settings. Findings are summarised through qualitative content analysis. The content analysis of the definitions revealed five themes (i.e., self-related feelings, proving things to oneself, fulfilling others’ expectations, reputation, compulsion) across contexts, all of which relate to processes of avoidance- or approach-motivation. The item analysis showed that self-related feelings (i.e., shame, guilt) were most frequently used to assess introjected regulation across contexts. Reputation and fulfilling others’ expectations were used in exercise, organisational and academic contexts. While the content analysis provides evidence for the richness of introjected regulation, it does also point to a limited exploitation of it, in the way introjected regulation is conceptualised and operationalised. Instead of exclusively using self-related feelings to assess introjected regulation, a broader consideration of this thematically rich construct should be used when assessing and interpreting results, which will result in more useful applications of the theory. Keywords Organismic integration theory; assessment; self-conscious emotions; motivation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd Conference of the EHPS - Health psychology across the lifespan : uniting research, practice and policy; 21-25 August 2018, Galway, Ireland; conference abstracts
Number of pages1
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society - Galway, Ireland
Duration: 21.08.201825.08.2018
Conference number: 32


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