To investigate the interplay between individual and collective self-regulations, the authors propose a dialectic process that describes the changes in the locus of self-regulations between individual self and collective self. The results from three studies display a strong support for the two sets of hypotheses drawn from the proposed process. Our findings demonstrate that consumers can move the locus of self-regulation from individual-self to collective-self when a social identity is activated (preliminary study and study1). Further examination of regulatory swing between individual and collective regulatory orientations revealed group identification as a key variable in determining the locus of self-regulation (study2). While a consumer with a high level of group identification changes her locus of self-regulation from an individual to a collective (a regulatory shift) and evaluated messages and products framed consistent with their group orientation, a consumer with low level of group identification maintains her locus of self-regulation in her personal level of self (a regulatory preservation) and evaluated messages and products framed consistent with their personal regulatory focus.

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