Does interpersonal regulatory fit affect intergenerational communication? Elder advice and younger gratitude
Old people have considerable experience and wisdom to share with young people; however, young people do not always listen to old people with gratitude. We conducted two studies to examine the effect of regulatory fit on young people’s gratitude toward old advisers. As predicted, young people felt more grateful to old advisers whose advice did not “fit” the advisees’ self-regulatory orientation, whereas young people felt more grateful to young advisers whose advice fit the advisees’ self-regulatory orientation (lab experiment in Study 1, Web survey in Study 2). Using these results, we propose an idea that may promote smoother intergenerational interaction in transmitting experience and wisdom from older to younger generations.