Three studies tested the hypothesis that regulatory focus, both as a chronic person variable and as a manipulated situational variable, differentially affects the strength of participants' approach and avoidance strategic motivations as they get closer to the goal. In 2 studies, flexion and extension arm pressure were used as on-line measures of approach and avoidance intensity, respectively. As predicted, the approach gradient was steeper for participants with a promotion focus on aspirations and gains than for participants with a prevention focus on responsibilities and nonlosses, whereas the reverse was true for the avoidance gradient. In a third study, the same pattern of results was found on a persistence measure of motivational strength. Participants with a promotion focus worked longer on anagrams closer to the goal when they were approach means for goal attainment than when they were avoidance means, whereas the reverse was true for participants with a prevention focus.