Article

The cessation of rumination through self-affirmation

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Abstract

Drawing from self-affirmation theory (C. M. Steele, 1988) and L. L. Martin and A. Tesser's (1989, 1996) theory of ruminative thinking, the authors hypothesized that people stop ruminating about a frustrated goal when they can affirm an important aspect of the self. In 3 experiments participants were given failure feedback on an alleged IQ test. Failure feedback led to increased rumination (i.e., accessibility of goal-related thoughts) compared with no-failure conditions (Studies 1 and 2). Rumination was reduced when participants could self-affirm after failure (Studies 1 and 2) or before failure (Study 3). In Study 3, self-affirmation led to increased positive affect on a disguised mood test and more positive name letter evaluations. Moreover, the obtained increase in positive affect mediated the effect of self-affumation on rumination. It is concluded that self-affirmation may be an effective way to stop ruminative thinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... The effects of goal progress failures on ruminative thinking have been demonstrated in laboratory studies (e.g., Geisler & Kubiak, 2009;Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999;Roberts et al., 2013;Thompson, Webber, & Montgomery, 2002) and field studies of individuals' self-reports of goal failures and rumination (Lavallee & Campbell, 1995;Moberly & Watkins, 2010). This review of extant theory and research leads to our first hypothesis: ...
... We attribute the failure effect on psychosomatic symptoms to persistent ruminative thinking based on three observations. First, from Study 1 and other laboratory studies (e.g., Geisler & Kubiak, 2009;Koole et al., 1999;Roberts et al., 2013;Thompson et al., 2002), as well as field studies of individuals' self-reports of goal failures and rumination (Lavallee & Campbell, 1995;Moberly & Watkins, 2010), there is a reliable causal effect of such failures on ruminative thinking. Second, the relationship between rumination and symptoms of this nature is demonstrated to be quite strong (see the meta-analysis results of Ottaviani et al., 2016) and in the direction of rumination presaging the symptoms rather than the reverse effect or mere comorbidity (Brosschot et al., 2005). ...
... Third, we found in Study 2 that symptoms did not persist after the goal progress failure was reversed, as is expected by the goal process theory of rumination and supported by other findings (Koole et al., 1999;Wrosch, Scheier, Miller, & Carver, 2003). ...
Article
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We integrate theory and research about individuals’ responses to failures to develop a model in which occupational progress failures precipitate ruminative processes that limit the extent individuals subsequently act as informal leaders. Our first study, an experiment with a sample of advanced accounting students, found that manipulating poor performance on a simulated certification test promoted ruminative thoughts about the test, which were negatively related to peer ratings of informal leadership behavior during a subsequent task. A separate field study using a regression discontinuity design in a 14-week military training program found that failure to pass the required physical fitness examination early in group formation influenced psychosomatic symptoms, an indirect measure of sustained rumination, and consequently hindered enactment of informal leadership behavior. We also theorized and found that neuroticism enhanced the positive effect of failure on rumination in Study 1 and psychosomatic symptoms in Study 2. We discuss the implications for developing theories concerning how disruptive personal events may interfere with employees’ engaging in informal leadership behavior.
... As mentioned above, it is important to discover methods of removing the effects of self objectification because it may lead to body shame, anxiety, and is a risk factor for eating disorders. One possible way to do this is by boosting positive feelings about the self to try to counteract the nega tive feelings that occur due to selfobjectification. Selfaffirmation may be a method of removing or reducing the negative effects of selfobjectification because it has been found to effectively boost self integrity (Steele, 1988), mood (Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999), and sometimes selfesteem (Fein & Spencer, 1997;Sherman & Cohen, 2006)-all of which could potentially be negatively affected by selfobjectification. ...
... In the control affirmation condition, participants wrote about their least important value, focusing on why this value might be significant to other individuals. In the no affirmation condition, participants did not complete either task and proceeded directly to the Drive for Muscularity and Drive for Thin ness questionnaire. 1 The selfaffirmation task and control task have been used extensively in the selfaffirmation literature, and previous research has generally found that selfaffirmation effectively boosts selfintegrity (Steele, 1988) and mood (Koole et al., 1999). ...
... From a theoretical standpoint, it will also be important for future work to determine the mechanisms through which selfaffirmation may produce beneficial effects on selfobjectification and drive for thinness/muscularity. Because previ ous studies have found that selfaffirmation tasks can alter mood and/or improve state selfesteem (Koole et al., 1999;Sherman & Cohen, 2006), we expected that performing our selfaffirmation task might remove the effects of selfobjectification by decreasing negative affect and/or improving state selfesteem. However, we found no evidence of differences in mood or state selfesteem scores as a function of selfaffirmation condition. ...
... As mentioned above, it is important to discover methods of removing the effects of selfobjectification because it may lead to body shame, anxiety, and is a risk factor for eating disorders. One possible way to do this is by boosting positive feelings about the self to try to counteract the negative feelings that occur due to self-objectification. Self-affirmation may be a method of removing or reducing the negative effects of self-objectification because it has been found to effectively boost selfintegrity (Steele, 1988), mood (Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999), and sometimes self-esteem (Fein & Spencer, 1997;Sherman & Cohen, 2006)-all of which could potentially be negatively affected by self-objectification. ...
... In the control affirmation condition, participants wrote about their least important value, focusing on why this value might be significant to other individuals. In the no affirmation condition, participants did not complete either task and proceeded directly to the Drive for Muscularity and Drive for Thinness questionnaire. 1 The self-affirmation task and control task have been used extensively in the self-affirmation literature, and previous research has generally found that self-affirmation effectively boosts self-integrity (Steele, 1988) and mood (Koole et al., 1999). ...
... From a theoretical standpoint, it will also be important for future work to determine the mechanisms through which self-affirmation may produce beneficial effects on self-objectification and drive for thinness/muscularity. Because previous studies have found that self-affirmation tasks can alter mood and/or improve state self-esteem (Koole et al., 1999;Sherman & Cohen, 2006), we expected that performing our self-affirmation task might remove the effects of self-objectification by decreasing negative affect and/or improving state self-esteem. However, we found no evidence of differences in mood or state self-esteem scores as a function of self-affirmation condition. ...
Article
Prior studies have shown that self-objectification can negatively affect body image in both women and men. However, it is not yet fully understood how to remove or reduce these negative effects. One strategy that may be beneficial is self-affirmation. Self-affirmation tasks often boost mood and state self-esteem, which can potentially be negatively affected by self-objectification. To investigate this, 178 college students (125 women and 53 men) were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 conditions in a 2 (self-objectification condition: objectified vs. not objectified) x 3 (self-affirmation condition: self-affirmation vs. control affirmation vs. no affirmation) between-subjects design. The results did not demonstrate any statistically significant main effects of self-objectification or interactions between self-objectification condition and self-affirmation condition on either drive for thinness or drive for muscularity (all ps ≥ .08). However, the results did demonstrate that focusing on nonappearance-related values might be useful in improving general body image because the affirmation intervention reduced participants’ drive for thinness, F(2, 175) = 3.90, p = .022, eta2 = .05, drive for muscularity, F(2, 175) = 3.47, p = .033, eta2 = .04, and feelings of self-objectification, F(2, 175) = 3.72, p = .026, eta2 = .04, regardless of the self-objectification condition.
... By asking a person to focus on important aspects of their self-image that differ from the one that has been threatened, the person's overall self-adequacy is reinforced. A large literature suggests that self-affirmation reduces rumination and increases various aspects of well-being including mood and self-esteem (for a review see Cohen & Sherman, 2014; see also Klein, Blier, & Janze, 2001;Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). For example, in one study participants experienced a threat to their self-image when they had to work on an ostensible IQ test that was impossible to solve. ...
... For example, in one study participants experienced a threat to their self-image when they had to work on an ostensible IQ test that was impossible to solve. Participants who engaged in a self-affirmation task (filling out a subscale concerned with a value important to them) after being threatened subsequently reported better mood and showed higher implicit self-esteem than participants who had not worked on a self-affirming task (Koole et al., 1999). ...
... Across all studies, this debriefing clearly did not eliminate the aversive effects of ego threat on well-being, but an internal meta-analysis suggests that based on all available evidence it (almost) significantly improved well-being compared to not (yet) being debriefed after experiencing the same ego threat.To further improve the debriefing's effectiveness, we extended the procedure in different ways: In one condition, participants received the Revised Outcome Debriefing verbally from a carefully trained experimenter. In another condition, participants received a written Revised Outcome Debriefing and additionally wrote a self-affirming essay -an intervention that has repeatedly been shown to positively affect various aspects of well-being in prior research(Klein, Blier, & Janze, 2001;Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). Neither the verbal debriefing (Studies 4&5), nor the written debriefing plus writing a self-affirming essay (Studies 4&5) fully undid the effects caused by the ego threatening experience.In Study 6, participants therefore received a 10-15 minute-long, extensive debriefing that was designed to address both potential cognitive and affective perseverance of the false feedback. ...
Article
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Psychological researchers often use powerful experimental manipulations to temporarily reduce participants' well-being. Postexperimental debriefings are intended to eliminate such detrimental effects. However, experimentally induced beliefs can persevere even when the underlying information is explicitly discredited. The present research investigates, in the context of ego-threatening manipulations, whether postexperimental debriefings reestablish participants' prestudy conditions. In 6 studies, participants received false feedback about their intelligence (Studies 1 and 5) or their attractiveness and likability (Studies 2-4 and 6), completed dependent variables indicative of well-being (Studies 1, 2, and 4-6), or aggressive behavior and hostile attributions (Study 3), and were thoroughly debriefed. Participants reported lower well-being and exhibited more hostile attributions after receiving negative compared with neutral or positive feedback. These effects were not eliminated when participants had been debriefed before completing the dependent variables, either in writing (Studies 1-6), in person (Studies 4 and 5), or when additionally writing a self-affirming essay (Studies 4 and 5). A prolonged and extensive personal debriefing (Study 6) was most effective in reducing the aversive effects of ego threat. Follow-up assessments revealed that affective consequences of the ego threat persevered for 2 weeks and longer. Internal meta-analyses corroborated these results, but also showed that all debriefing versions, even if not fully effective, ameliorated the effects of ego threat at least to some extent. Taken together, the present findings illustrate the only partial effectiveness of different debriefing procedures, stress the importance of carefully designing postexperimental debriefings to avoid ethical concerns, and more generally point to potentially effective ways to deal with negative feedback and personal threats.
... The effects of self-affirmation on positive emotions, however, have not been clearly demonstrated in past research. In measuring positive mood as a dependent variable, Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, and Dijksterhuis (1999) was one of the few that examined this link between self-affirmation and positive affect. They implemented an implicit mood test and found that self-affirmed individuals showed more positive affect. ...
... We administered several questionnaires online before participants were recruited for the in-person experiment. Studies have found that self-affirmation is associated with some trait characteristics and an individual's resources, such as self-esteem (Creswell et al., 2005;Koole et al., 1999;McQueen & Klein, 2006;Sherman & Cohen, 2006;Sherman & Kim, 2005). Therefore, we collected data on selfresources to examine their relations to the effects of self-affirmation and physiological responses. ...
... We used a direct manipulation of emotion via IAPS (Lang et al., 2005) image presentations. Although no significant effects of selfaffirmation on the positive affect scores were found throughout the experiment, unlike those reported in Koole et al. (1999), it was shown that self-affirmation led to less negative affect during negative emotion induction. These results of our study are consistent with previous findings regarding self-affirmation theory, which suggests that affirming an important aspect of self may act as an indirect method of psychological adaptation (Ruiter, 2011;Sherman, 2013;Sherman & Cohen, 2006 Abbreviation: IAPS, International Affective Picture System. ...
Article
Self-affirmation is the act of focusing on important aspects of the self, such as personal values and characteristics. We used a within-participants design (N = 125) to examine cardiovascular reactivity and self-reported affective responses to the practice of self-affirmation. In the self-affirmation condition, we asked participants to write about their top-ranked personal value for 5 minutes and used a writing exercise unrelated to personal values in the control condition. The International Affective Picture System (IAPS; Lang et al., 2005) was used to induce positive and negative emotion. Results showed that participants had greater high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) when practicing self-affirmation. During negative emotion induction, self-affirmation also led to lower maximum heart rate, higher RSA, and lower ratings of negative affect. Our findings suggest that the act of focusing on an important aspect of self has beneficial effects on psychological and physiological well-being. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Human thoughts are goal directed, and ruminative thinking is no exception (Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). Rumination represents "conscious thoughts that revolve around a common instrumental theme and that recur in the absence of immediate environmental demands requiring the thoughts" (Martin & Tesser, 1996, p. 7). ...
... Goal attainment is subjective, and how a goal can be achieved is somewhat open to subjective interpretation. One could directly tackle the problem to get back on track or use reframing to ease the internal tension experienced and rationalize failure in one's favor (Koole et al., 1999;Nolen-Hoeksema & Aldao, 2011). ...
... Therefore, ruminative leaders may display reconciliatory efforts to both victims and nonvictims for rumination alleviation. This notion is consistent with experimental evidence that rumination can be assuaged by actions irrelevant to the source of provocation (Koole et al., 1999). It is also echoed by research documenting that, to alleviate guilt, individuals engage in prosocial behavior toward victims, as well as toward ostensibly unrelated people (Estrada-Hollenbeck & Heatherton, 1998). ...
Article
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In this research, we propose a novel goal‐failure perspective based on cognitive theories of rumination to examine how leaders react to their own abusive supervision in distinct ways. Findings from two multi‐wave, multisource field studies conducted with organizational leaders and an online experiment support hypotheses that leaders ruminate on their abusive behavior and this rumination triggers reconciliation efforts (a problem‐solving reaction) or the blaming of victims (a self‐serving reaction). In line with cognitive theories of rumination, leaders’ independent self‐construal functions as a key qualifier for the effects of rumination, such that when they ruminate, leaders who have low levels of independent self‐construal are more likely to seek reconciliation, whereas leaders who have high levels of independent self‐construal are more likely to blame their victims. Furthermore, reconciliation is not significantly related to subordinates’ evaluation of their leaders’ effectiveness but blaming is negatively related to it. These findings are an important extension of nascent perpetrator‐centric research regarding abusive supervision.
... However, there are boundary conditions in which self-affirmation can reduce a perceived identity threat. For example, self-affirmation cannot decrease a perceived threat when the threatened domain is irrelevant or unimportant to the recipient (Boninger, Krosnick, & Berent, 1995;Sherman et al., 2000), nor when the affirmed domain is not an important identity domain or is less important than the threatened domain for the recipient (Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008;Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999;Sherman & Cohen, 2006). Because PSAs are usually made for the public, knowing and targeting each recipient's important identity domain and offering different selfaffirmations to different recipients is difficult for practitioners. ...
... In the current research, we propose that self-affirmation can augment message acceptance by elevating mood, even when it is unsuccessful in reducing an identity threat. This proposition is based on past research suggesting that self-affirmation induces positive affect (Crocker et al., 2008;Koole et al., 1999;Tesser, 2000). For example, Koole et al. (1999) revealed that self-affirmation raised implicit positive affect, which in turn reduced the rumination engendered by an identity threat. ...
... This proposition is based on past research suggesting that self-affirmation induces positive affect (Crocker et al., 2008;Koole et al., 1999;Tesser, 2000). For example, Koole et al. (1999) revealed that self-affirmation raised implicit positive affect, which in turn reduced the rumination engendered by an identity threat. Crocker et al. (2008) found that self-affirmation enhanced positive affect, especially otherdirected affect (e.g., love, connectedness). ...
Article
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To encourage people to behave in a more socially responsible or healthy way, many public service announcements (PSAs) dramatically illustrate the dire consequences of undesirable social or health behaviors. However, although informative, such negatively-framed PSAs can generate unintended consequences (e.g., a bad mood, low message acceptance). In this research, we investigated two approaches to improve the effectiveness of negatively-framed PSAs: (1) mood elevation and (2) self-affirmation. Using three studies with large samples of consumers, we found that adding mood-elevating or self-affirming elements to a negative PSA can be an effective way to enhance message acceptance. This is especially the case for recipients currently engaging (vs. not engaging) in the undesirable behaviors. Additionally, we designed mood elevation methods that can be implemented in PSAs in practice.
... BIS-activating threats also heighten belligerent defenses (Jonas et al., 2014) and so some research has focused on whether self-transcendent focus effects on magnanimity might arise from muted BIS-activation. Value-focus does reduce several BIS-linked phenomena, including anxious distress, ruminative preoccupation, and defensive avoidance of self-threatening information (Alquist et al., 2018;Creswell et al., 2005;Critcher & Dunning, 2015;Crowell et al., 2015;Finley, Crowell, & Schmeichel, 2018;Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999;McGregor, 2006a;McGregor et al., 2001;Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009;Sherman et al., 2013;Sherman, Bunyan, Creswell, & Jaremka, 2009;Simon, Greenberg, & Brehm, 1995). It has also improved cardiovascular recovery after threatening interpersonal evaluations (Tang & Schmeichel, 2015) and lowered amygdala reactivity to threatening health messages (especially among people with trait-tendencies oriented toward self-transcendentvalues; Kang et al., 2017). ...
... Indeed, value-focus makes people better able to track challenging complexities and details afterwards (Correll et al., 2004;Kang et al., 2018). Given that BAS mutes BIS, and value-focus persistently mutes phenomena related to the BIS (Creswell et al., 2005;Hirsh, Mar, & Peterson, 2012;Jackson et al., 2003;Jonas et al., 2014;Kang et al., 2018;Koole et al., 1999;McGregor, 2006a;Nash et al., 2011;Nash et al., 2012;Schmeichel & Martens, 2005), the present research is consistent with the view that for high meaning searchers, transient BAS activation arising from transcendence focus causes a persistent decrease in BISactivation, which is what makes people less belligerent afterwards. ...
Article
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Fidelity with self-transcendent values is hailed as a hallmark of mature and magnanimous character by classic psychological and philosophical theories. Dozens of contemporary experiments inspired by self-affirmation theory have also found that when people are under threat, focus on self-transcendent values can confer magnanimity by improving psychological buoyancy (less anxious and more courageous, determined, and effective) and decreasing belligerence (less defensive, extreme, and hostile). The present research was guided by the postulate that both aspects of magnanimity—its buoyancy and its freedom from belligerence—arise from the approach motivated states that self-transcendent foci can inspire. Experimental manipulations of self-transcendent foci (values, spirituality, compassion) heightened state approach motivation as assessed by electroencephalography (Study 1, n = 187) and self-report (Study 2, n = 490). Further, even though the heightened approach motivation was transient, it mediated a longer-lasting freedom from moral (Study 1) and religious (Study 2) belligerence. Importantly, self-transcendent-focus effects on approach motivation and belligerence occurred only among participants with high trait meaning search scores. Results support an interpretation of meaningful values and spiritual ideals as self-transcendent priorities that operate according to basic motivational mechanics of abstract-goal pursuit. The transient, approach-motivated state aroused by transcendence-focus causes longer lasting relief from preoccupation with threat, leaving people feeling buoyant and generous. Relevance of results for self-affirmation theory and the psychology of spirituality are discussed.
... This result could mean that self-affirmation untethers individuals from the prepotent response. This would be consistent with findings that self-affirmation can increase the capacity of executive functions (Hall, Zhao, & Shafir, 2014;Harris, Harris, & Miles, 2017;Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999;Koole & Van Knippenberg, 2007). Indeed, to correctly identify non-identical figures the prepotent response must be inhibited. ...
... Without the threat of evaluation, self-affirmation appears to increase cognitive capacities and inhibit the prepotent response. This is consistent with recent studies showing that self-affirmation boosts various executive functions (Hall et al., 2014;Harris et al., 2017;Koole et al., 1999;Koole & Van Knippenberg, 2007;Logel & Cohen, 2012;Wen, Butler, & Koutstaal, 2013). ...
Article
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When an individual is threatened by a negative stereotype, they are motivated to disconfirm the stereotype to protect self-integrity. When the task is simple and short, this motivation enables threatened individuals to counter the harmful effects of stereotype threat. Two theoretical accounts could explain this effect. First, performance is facilitated by a correct prepotent response according to the mere effort account. Second, the threatened individuals adopt a prevention focus that has a beneficial effect if the task demands few cognitive resources. The present article tested the hypothesis that protecting self-integrity via self-affirmation reduces the motivation to disconfirm the stereotype and could therefore harm performance. Across two experiments, threatened participants performed worse on simple and short math (Study 1) and mental rotations (Study 2) tests when self-affirmed compared to control. When stereotype threat leads to motivated engagement with a task, self-affirmation can reduce that motivation by boosting self-integrity.
... One intervention point may be in training students to recognize the impact of social media rumination on their feelings of distress, so students can learn ways to adaptively cope with ruminative thoughts. Interventions grounded in self-affirmation theory may help reduce social media rumination by teaching students to reflect on values and aspects of their identities that are not externally threatened (e.g., Koole et al., 1999). Furthermore, interventions targeted toward prevention of engaging in bullying online could help reduce the likelihood of recurring social media rumination (Feinstein et al., 2014;Monti et al., 2017). ...
Article
In this study, we examined students’ perceptions of peer aggression occurring within their school environment and how these perceptions are interconnected with both social media rumination and distress. Social media usage is associated with a range of negative mental health and interpersonal outcomes for adolescents. Social media use can increase youth’s vulnerability to peer victimization and psychosocial difficulties. In addition, ruminating when sad or stressed has been linked to elevated distress for youth experiencing peer aggression. Yet rumination specifically regarding social media activities has not been investigated in relation to peer aggression and distress, nor has the degree to which students perceive peer aggression occurring at school been included in these investigations. Participants were 169 high school students (age, M = 15.89, SD = .87), largely identifying as Black/African American and female, who completed surveys as part of a larger program working with at-risk youth in a Midwestern, urban city. We found that social media rumination mediated the relationship between perceptions of bullying at school and feelings of distress, but mediation was not supported when examining student perceptions of cyberbullying frequency and youth distress. In the case of bullying, rumination may disrupt other forms of coping—such as positive cognitive distractions—that would ameliorate symptoms of distress. Furthermore, we present evidence that social media rumination is experienced by, and has different influences on, youth. We highlight the need for differentiated intervention and prevention efforts regarding these two forms of peer aggression. Future research may be justified to examine these possibilities.
... In linea con quanto ipotizzato, l'intervento di autoaffermazione riduce i livelli di catastrofizzazione. Quanto emerso è in accordo con la letteratura (Keefe et al., 2000;Koole et al., 1999;Leung, 2012) secondo cui interventi di autoaffermazione contribuiscono a ridurre la quantità e la qualità dei pensieri catastrofici associati alla condizione problematica. Contrariamente a quanto atteso l'intervento non sembra diminuire i livelli di inflessibilità psicologica. ...
Poster
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Introduzione. L’approccio dell’Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes et al., 1999) al dolore cronico pone grande rilievo sul successo nel vivere secondo i valori. Tale successo ha mostrato di associarsi con il funzionamento psico-fisico dei pazienti, correlando positivamente con l’accettazione del dolore. Tuttavia, i meccanismi psicologici alla base di tale associazione restano ancora discussi. Poiché la riflessione sui valori sembra attivare un processo di autoaffermazione, si ipotizza che esso sia uno dei meccanismi attraverso cui gli interventi ACT esercitano i loro effetti. Metodo. 104 persone affette da dolore cronico (51% uomini e 49% donne; età: M = 44.78; DS = 16.94) sono state suddivise in due gruppi (sperimentale: n = 50; controllo: n = 54). Nella condizione sperimentale e stato effettuato un intervento di autoaffermazione seguito dalla somministrazione di un questionario; nella condizione di controllo non e stato condotto alcun intervento. Gli effetti dell’autoaffermazione sul benessere psicologico, sull’accettazione del dolore, sulla catastrofizzazione e sull’inflessibilità psicologica sono stati verificati attraverso ANCOVA. La percezione di successo nei valori, la capacita di azione impegnata e il livello di mindfulness sono state inserite come covariate al fine di controllarne gli effetti. Risultati. I risultati hanno mostrato come l’intervento abbia promosso un aumento del benessere psicologico, una maggior accettazione del dolore e una diminuzione della catastrofizzazione. Nessun effetto e emerso circa l’inflessibilità psicologica. Conclusioni. I risultati suggeriscono che l’autoaffermazione possa essere uno dei meccanismi attraverso cui gli interventi ACT esercitano i loro effetti sui valori. I risultati consentono, su un piano applicativo, di porre le basi per un’integrazione tra ACT e autoaffermazione, su un piano teorico, di ampliare le conoscenze relative ai valori nella promozione del benessere. Bibliografia Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
... For example, when people are confronted with negative events, self-affirmation can increase resilience and well-being (Emanuel et al., 2018), reduce expected negative emotions (Pauketat et al., 2016), and diminish anxiety (Niles et al., 2016). Moreover, self-affirmation can reduce stress (Sherman et al., 2009) and stop ruminative thinking (Koole et al., 1999). In the face of stressful academic tasks, self-affirming students tend to perform better (Harris et al., 2017;see Hanselman et al., 2017, for a recent replication failure). ...
Article
Four studies (total valid N = 643) examined whether ostracism increases people’s political conspiracy beliefs through heightened vulnerability and whether self-affirmation intervention counteracts the effect of ostracism on conspiracy beliefs. Compared with their nonostracized counterparts, ostracized participants were more likely to endorse conspiracy beliefs related to different political issues (Studies 1–3). Moreover, heightened vulnerability mediated the link between ostracism and conspiracy beliefs (Studies 1–3). Offering ostracized participants an opportunity to reaffirm values important to them could reduce their political conspiracy beliefs (Study 4). Taken together, our findings highlight the crucial role of vulnerability in understanding when and why ostracism increases conspiracy beliefs and how to ameliorate this relationship. Our findings also provide novel insights into how daily interpersonal interactions influence people’s political beliefs and involvement.
... First indications of the significance of failure for the occurrence of doubts stem from experimental laboratory research using failure feedback on short-term cognitive or motor tasks (e.g., Feather, 1966;Beckmann, 1994;Koole et al., 1999). However, it is unclear whether (and if, to what extent) these results can be applied to personal goal striving in everyday life. ...
Article
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Various theories on personal goal striving rely on the assumption that failure raises doubts about the goal. Yet, empirical evidence for an association between objective failure experiences and doubts about personal long-term goals is still missing. In a longitudinal field study, applicants for a job as a police trainee (n = 172, Mage = 25.15; 55 females and 117 males) were accompanied across three measurement times over a period of five months. We investigated the effects of failure and initial expectation of success (in the standardized selection process) on doubts regarding the superordinate goal of becoming a police officer. As hypothesized, both failure and low initial expectation of success as well as their interaction led to increased goal-related doubts over time. The findings provide first empirical evidence for the role of failure in the emergence of goal-related doubts in personal long-term goals and, therefore, the disengagement process as it is hypothesized in various theories on goal striving and life-span development.
... Supporting this assumption, a series of experimental studies demonstrated that self-affirmation prompted individuals to withdraw efforts after failure or disappointing outcomes Vohs, Park, & Schmeichel, 2013). Self-affirmation was also demonstrated to reduce rumination after failure in laboratory tasks (Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999), indicating that selfaffirmation not only facilitates reducing efforts but also dissolving commitment. ...
Thesis
Throughout our lives, we oftentimes have to give up on a project, plan, or dream, even if we already invested substantial time and effort in the pursuit. Because persistence in futile endeavors consumes resources and causes great frustration, the ability to let go of blocked goals and take on new ones benefits both subjective well-being and health. This thesis focuses on questions surrounding the process of giving up futile goals. It is assumed that abandoning a personally relevant goal requires that individuals consider it from a new angle and stop viewing themselves in light of the goal. This process is termed goal disengagement and involves a state of decisional conflict, termed an action crisis, wherein the individual is torn between going on and giving up. Past research has found that the action crisis has an important self-regulatory function because it enables individuals to reconsider their course of action. At the same time, this phase impairs well-being and reduces physical and academic capacity. Building onto past findings about the action crisis, this thesis contributes to goal disengagement research in several ways. In the first two parts of this thesis, additional evidence from two applied settings corroborate the relevance of decisional conflict in goal disengagement and the negative impact of action crises on physical health. In the third part, the role of two trait antecedents to action crises (generalized self-efficacy and intuitive affect regulation) is elucidated in a longitudinal study. The fourth part is a theoretical essay aiming to clarify under what circumstances action crises arise and how individuals re-evaluate obstructed goal pursuits. Finally, questions that remain unanswered or arose throughout the thesis are discussed and future avenues for empirical research and conceptual development are proposed.
... The theory suggests that given the opportunity to self-affirm, individuals no longer have to prove their worth to themselves or others, freeing up resources to focus on the demands of a present situation (Sherman & Cohen, 2006). Social life, relationships, and compassionate goals are ranked among the most important values reported by individuals (Koole, Smeets, Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). It is hypothesized here that a values exercise should align participants with these self-transcendent goals and facilitate prosocial responding. ...
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The literature suggests universal tendencies towards prosocial behavior. "Born to be good", biological and environmental theories have emphasized an innate capacity for human goodness. Yet findings in the literature also suggest important variations among individuals in the propensity for compassionate responding. This chapter will review empirically-validated personality styles associated with deficits in prosociality. These will be embeded within biological and psychological models of altruism. Evidence supports the important benefits of behaving compassionately in terms of physiological and subjective well-being. Intentions to increase level of compassion may be particularly beneficial for those less inclined to be prosocial. For example, disagreeable individuals and non-altruists show signifanctly greater improvements in mood after performing acts of kindness compared to atruistic and agreeable individuals. This chapter will review how theoretical models can accommodate these findings to help identify who has the most to gain from compassion interventions.
... For example, the reflection on past behavior (self-perception theory, Bem, 1967), personal standards (control theory of self-regulation, Carver & Scheier, 1981), images of how people would like to see themselves (self-discrepancy theory, Higgins, 1987), important values, or other positive aspects of the self (self-affirmation theory, Steele, 1988) can serve as a basis for self-evaluation and therefore impact individual self-esteem. Research in the field of self-affirmation (Steele, 1988) has shown that when people think about positive facets of their selves they can experience boosts in self-esteem (Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). Activities with such self-affirming qualities in the offline context are, for instance, writing about one's most important values or reading self-affirming messages (McQueen & Klein, 2006). ...
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Previous research offers equivocal results regarding the effect of social networking site use on individuals’ self-esteem. We conduct a systematic literature review to examine the existing literature and develop a theoretical framework in order to classify the results. The framework proposes that self-esteem is affected by three distinct processes that incorporate self-evaluative information: social comparison processes, social feedback processing, and self-reflective processes. Due to particularities of the social networking site environment, the accessibility and quality of self-evaluative information is altered, which leads to online-specific effects on users’ self-esteem. Results of the reviewed studies suggest that when a social networking site is used to compare oneself with others, it mostly results in decreases in users’ self-esteem. On the other hand, receiving positive social feedback from others or using these platforms to reflect on one’s own self is mainly associated with benefits for users’ self-esteem. Nevertheless, interindividual differences and the specific activities performed by users on these platforms should be considered when predicting individual effects.
... For example, Martens et al., (2006) found that female participants who were told to complete a "preliminary form", whereby they had to rank the importance of characteristics and values, as well as write down a time when their top ranked value had been personally important to them, found a significant increase in mathematics performance for women under threat. Furthermore, self-affirmation has shown to increase individuals confidence, as after a self-affirmation task, participants were less worried to fail on an intelligence test (Koole, Smeets, Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999) and were less likely to justify behaviour through attitude alterations (Steele & Liu, 1983). However, research suggests that focusing solely on self-affirmation exercises may not be sufficient to reduce stereotype threat. ...
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In the ever-growing ambiguity and complexity of today’s organisations, the need for a simple and cost-effective antidote to overcome the negative implications of stereotype threat on employee’s performance is indispensable. This research paper aims to establish if a creative task has the ability to do so. I investigated the performance between males and females who were randomly assigned to either a creative or generic task and compared their results from a standardised mathematics test. The results demonstrated that the creative task had a minimal effect on improving women’s mathematics performance; however, it did highlight a clear increase in feeling of novelty and liberation when participants were primed for creativity. Whilst this study specifically does not support the research hypothesis, there is opportunity for further research in this domain, in order to build upon findings and establish statistically significant results. Thus, I shall discuss the implications of the results, as well as suggestions for organisations and researchers, in this domain of creativity and stereotype threat.
... Кроме того, внимание первой группы учащихся меньше захвачено руминацией1, т.е. навязчивыми мыслями о прошлых неудачах [11]. ...
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Шелестюк Е.В., Галущак М.В. Особенности аффирмаций как способа речевого воздействия // Вестник Курганского государственного университета. 2019. № 1 (52). С. 110-116. Br/ Аннотация: В статье рассматриваются типы аффирмаций, их вербализация, характер и механиз­ мы воздействия на человека. Утверждается, что в ос­ нове аффирмаций лежит механизм рекурсии, индуци­ рующий совершенствование личности. В ситуациях со многими участниками и условиями, не зависящими от реципиента, следует модулировать аффирмации так, чтобы они были направлены на обострение внимания реципиента, логики, поиска входа из ситуации, прогно­ зирование, стратегическое планирование, видение целостной картины. Ключевые слова: психолингвистика, прагма-лингвистика, аффирмация, рекурсия, речевые форму­ лы. Annotation: The article discusses the types of affirmations, their verbalization, the nature and mechanisms o f human exposure. It is argued that the basis o f affirmations is the mechanism o f recursion, inducing the improvement o f the individual. In situations with many participants and conditions that are not dependent on the recipient, affirmations should be modulated so that they are aimed at increasing the attention o f the recipient, logic, searching for input from the situation, forecasting, strategic planning, and a vision o f a holistic picture.
... The researchers have argued that these sources of self-affirmation provide the flexibility to use the available self-resources on the part of individuals. Due to these attributes, selfaffirmation interventions show their efficacy in lowering rumination and negative thinking (Koole et al., 1999), thought suppression (Koole & van Knippenberg, 2007), pain, tiredness, drowsiness, lack of appetite, anxiety, lack of well-being, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviours (Russell et al., 2018;Yildirim et al., 2017). ...
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background Although self-affirmation has been reported to enhance well-being and other positive life outcomes in normal adults, little is known about its capacity to restore and preserve well-being in adults with depressive tendencies. The current study attempts to expound the restoring and preserving capacity of self-affirmation for well-being in In-dian adults with non-clinical depressive tendencies. participants and procedure The study used a sequential research design. Eighty participants (22-27 years) with depressive tendencies were chosen through purposive sampling and were randomly assigned equally to the experimental and control conditions. Their depressive tendencies and well-being were measured through standard scales at three intervals: pre-intervention, post-intervention and follow-up. results The results revealed significant restoring and preserving capacity of self-affirmation for the well-being of the experimental group participants as compared to the control group. The main effects of conditions (experimental, control) and treatment intervals (pre, post, follow-up) were significant along with the interaction effects of conditions × treatment intervals. The significant differences in the mean well-being scores for pre-intervention, post-intervention and follow-up points of time showed the restoring and preserving capacity of self-affirmation intervention. conclusions The findings showed that self-affirmation helps to restore well-being as well as preserve it after a significant gap, which is evident in higher well-being mean scores of the experimental group taken at post-intervention and follow-up intervals. The positive effects of self-affirmation on well-being may have remained active even after the cessation of the intervention due to the underlying mechanisms of enhanced self-worth, positive values, inner strengths, positive attributions and interpersonal relationships. Key words non-clinical depressive tendencies; Indian adults; self-affirmation intervention; sequential research design; well-being.
... Кроме того, внимание первой группы учащихся меньше захвачено руминацией1, т.е. навязчивыми мыслями о прошлых неудачах [11]. ...
Article
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В статье рассматриваются типы аффирмаций, их вербализация, характер и механиз­ мы воздействия на человека. Утверждается, что в ос­ нове аффирмаций лежит механизм рекурсии, индуци­ рующий совершенствование личности. В ситуациях со многими участниками и условиями, не зависящими от реципиента, следует модулировать аффирмации так, чтобы они были направлены на обострение внимания реципиента, логики, поиска входа из ситуации, прогно­ зирование, стратегическое планирование, видение целостной картины. Ключевые слова: психолингвистика, прагма-лингвистика, аффирмация, рекурсия, речевые форму­ лы. Annotation: The article discusses the types of affirmations, their verbalization, the nature and mechanisms o f human exposure. It is argued that the basis o f affirmations is the mechanism o f recursion, inducing the improvement o f the individual. In situations with many participants and conditions that are not dependent on the recipient, affirmations should be modulated so that they are aimed at increasing the attention o f the recipient, logic, searching for input from the situation, forecasting, strategic planning, and a vision o f a holistic picture. Вестник Курганского государственного университета. 2019. № 1 (52). С. 110-116.
... Le simple fait d'imaginer que leurs compétences pourraient être menacées se traduit par une focalisation attentionnelle qui est nuisible à la qualité de l'apprentissage. Les situations de menace dans l'évaluation de soi induisent des phénomènes de rumination (Koole, Smeets, Knippenberg & Dijksterhuis, 1999) et « consomment l'attention ». Ils ne laissent que peu de place à celles nécessaires pour comprendre et apprendre. ...
... An important prediction of self-affirmation is that self-affirmation -reflecting on posi- tive core aspects of one's identity -may reduce immediate threat-responses by allowing people to view threats in the context of a broader, unthreatened identity (Critcher & Dunning, 2015). There is cross-sectional evidence that self-affirmation can reduce self-reported stress and cortisol levels in response to a laboratory- induced stress task ( Creswell et al., 2007), can reduce catecholamine excretion (an indicator of sympathetic nervous system activation) in response to an ongoing naturalistic stressor (Sherman, Bunyan, Creswell, & Jaremka, 2009), reduce rumina- tion, and improve mood (Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). ...
Article
Testing self-affirmation writing against well-established alternatives is an important step in validating self-affirmation writing as an empirically informed clinical exercise. Therefore, this multi-wave study examined the effects of two theoretically distinct writing exercises: self-affirmation and emotionally expressive writing. It was hypothesized that, compared to emotionally expressive writing, self-affirmation writing would elicit higher positive mood and lower negative mood while decreasing psychological distress over time. After completing pretest measures of distress, 152 undergraduates were randomly assigned to a self-affirmation or emotionally expressive writing task. Participants completed the assigned writing intervention three times: at Session 1, 1 week later at Session 2, and 1 week after that at Session 3. Mood and distress were assessed across four points in time: immediately after the first writing task (Session 1), 1 week later after the second writing task (Session 2), after the third writing task (Session 3), and 1 week following Session 3 (Session 4). A growth curve indicated that at Session 2, those completing self-affirmation writing reported lower distress than those completing emotionally expressive writing, and this difference did not significantly increase or decrease in subsequent sessions. The difference at Session 2 was more pronounced for those reporting lower distress than for those reporting higher distress.
... Self-affirmation can help people cope with various stresses and life's difficulties (G. L. Cohen & Sherman, 2014;Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999;McQueen & Klein, 2006;Sherman, 2013;Sherman & Hartson, 2010). Relevant to our current study, self-affirmation can endow people with more cognitive resources in problemsolving and decision-making (DeWall, Baumeister, Mead, & Vohs, 2011;Wang, Novemsky, Dhar, & Baumeister, 2010). ...
Article
We proposed that self-affirmation can endow people with more cognitive resource to cope with uncertainty. We tested this possibility with an event-related potential (ERP) study by examining how self-affirmation influences ambiguous feedback processing in a simple gambling task, which was used to investigate risk decision-making. We assigned 48 participants randomly to the affirmation and non-affirmation (i.e., control) groups. All participants accepted the manipulation first and then completed the gambling task with an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording, in which participants might receive a positive (winning), negative (losing), or ambiguous (unknown valence) outcome after they made a choice. We considered both the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P3 components elicited by the outcome feedback, which reflected the amount of cognitive resources being invested in the early and late stages of the outcome feedback processing, respectively. ERP results showed that ambiguous feedback elicited a larger FRN among affirmed participants than unaffirmed participants but exerted no influence on the P3. This finding suggests that self-affirmation may help coping with uncertainty by enhancing the early processing of uncertainty.
... For instance, numerous studies have shown that a brief self-affirmation exercise, which typically involves writing about an important personal value, can increase an individual's willingness to engage honestly with reality despite the presence of conflicting motivational cues (e.g., failure feedback, cognitive depletion, or opportunities to win money by cheating) (Cohen et al. 2000;Shu et al. 2011;Sherman and Kim 2002;etc.). This increased willingness, in turn, has been shown to improve health-relevant behavioral outcomes, such as safe sex practices (Sherman et al. 2000), and to reduce maladaptive post-failure rumination (Koole et al. 1999). Similarly, several lines of research suggest that actively reflecting on a given moral value, such as "honesty," leads to greater personal identification with that value (Ryan and Deci 2000;Sheldon and Elliot 1998;Sheldon and Schachtman 2007;Street et al. 2001). ...
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As we account for the genetic and environmental influences on morally-relevant character traits like intellectual honesty, industriousness, and self-control, do we risk becoming ever less accountable to ourselves? Behavioral genetic research suggests that about half the variance in such character traits is likely attributable to heredity, and a small fraction to the shared family environment. The remaining 40-60% is explained by neither genes nor family upbringing. This raises the question: how active a role can individuals play in shaping their own character? What, if anything, can and should one do to take responsibility for the kind of person one becomes? This paper sketches a novel theoretical proposal for addressing these questions, by drawing on several previously disparate lines of research within behavior genetics, philosophy, and experimental psychology. Our core proposal concerns the metacognitive capacity to engage in active, reality-based cognition, as opposed to passive, stimulus-driven processing or an active pretense at cognition (i.e., self-deception). We review arguments and evidence indicating that human beings both can and should exercise this capacity, which we have termed “cognitive integrity.” We argue that doing so can in a certain sense “set us free” of our genetic and environmental influences—not by rendering them irrelevant, but by giving us the awareness and motivation to manage them more responsibly. This perspective has important implications for guiding the development of psychosocial interventions, and for informing how we direct ourselves more generally, both as individuals and as a society.
... However, if only affect were responsible, message strength (e.g., persuasive message following affirmation) should have no effect (Sherman & Cohen, 2006). Implicit mechanisms have also been proposed at the affective and cognitive levels, such that self-affirmation increases implicit positive affect (Koole et al., 1999) and accessibility of threat-related cognitions among participants (Van Koningsbruggen et al., 2009). State self-esteem has been found to mediate the effect of self-affirmation interventions (Sherman & Cohen, 2006), but the lack of distinction between state and trait self-esteem renders conclusions difficult. ...
Chapter
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Dealing with threat is a ubiquitous experience for people everywhere. The extent to which we experience threat, however, differs, as do the means employed to address it. For instance, focusing on unthreatened aspects of the self (i.e., self-affirmation) helps us cope with prejudice, discrimination, and stigma. Individuals differ substantially in their threat experience, as some groups are more discriminated against, which also differs per national context. We discuss previous findings on social identity threat and how salient it is for some groups. We then inspect how affirmation interventions addressing threat and investigated in Western contexts fare in non-Western contexts. We describe the need to move beyond relatively well-represented non-Western settings (e.g., Asia) and include contexts that are religiously more diverse. We therefore present data on the use of self-affirmation from the sectarian context of Lebanon and elaborate on how the larger cultural context may impact reactions to affirmation interventions.
... Higgins, (1987), dan Self-Affirmation theory, Steele (1988). Penelitian yang menunjukan bahwa nilai-nilai positif yang ada di dalam diri seseorang itu berperan dalam menentukan harga diri (Koole et al., 1999). ...
Thesis
Media sosial sudah menjadi kebutuhan primer bagi Generasi Milenial dan Generasi Z di Indonesia. Intesitas penggunaan media sosial pada kedua generasi ini mengasumsikan bahwa Generasi Milenial dan Z di Indonesia memiliki Conspicuous Consumption pada gaya hidupnya, salah satu bentuk Conspicuous Consumption adalah pembelian barang mewah. Melihat trend Platform media sosial yang saat ini digandrungi Generasi Milenial dan Z adalah Youtube. Penelitian yang dilakukan ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui pengaruh Conspicuous Online Consumption yang diukur melalui beberapa variabel seperti Social Media Usage, Self-Image Congruity, dan Self-Esteem. Penelitian dengan metode kuantitatif dengan jenis Penelitian Deskriptif dipergunakan dalam penelitian ini. Generasi Milenial atau Z yang memiliki akun Youtube dan pernah membeli barang mewah yang tidak diketahui jumlahnya menjadi Populasi dalam penelitian ini. Sampel dalam penelitian ini secara keseluruhan berjumlah 420 responden dengan proporsi 210 sampel per generasi. Nonprobability sampling dan dan teknik convenience sampling menggunakan rumus Maximum likelihood menjadi metode sampling. Analisis data yang digunakan menggunakan PLS- SEM. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa 4 dari hipotesis yang dibangun didukung dan satu ditolak. Temuan dari penelitian ini menunjukan Social media Usage berpengaruh positif dan signifikan terhadap Self-Image Generasi Milenial dan Z di Indonesia, Social Media juga secara positif dan signifikan berpengaruh terhadap Conspicuous Online Consumption, Self-Image secara positif dan signifikan berpengaruh pada Conspicuous Online Consumption pada Generasi Milenial dan Z di Indonesia, Dari pengaruh mediasi ditemukan bahwa Self-Image Congruity memediasi hubungan Social Media Usage terhadap Conspicuous Online Consumption dengan signifikan. Terakhir, dari pengaruh moderasi, Self-Esteem gagal dalam memoderasi hubungan Social Media Usage terhadap Conspicuous Online Consumption.
... Furthermore, the results show that there is no positive relationship between need for self-affirmation and generating or sharing BRUGC. A possible reason could be that one's need for self-affirmation may act as a form of protection when the self is intimidated, which may occur after one has a negative experience with a brand (Koole et al., 1999). The findings reveal a positive relationship between generating and sharing BRUGC and brand attitude. ...
Article
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Purpose Building on consumer socialization theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine antecedents and consequences of generating and sharing brand-related content on social media in a restaurant context. Design/methodology/approach A scale development process was undertaken to develop the scale for brand-related user-generated content (BRUGC). Then the authors tested the antecedents and consequences of BRUGC using 375 responses obtained through a mall-intercept survey. The hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling with AMOS. Findings Study findings revealed that age, time on Facebook, number of Facebook friends, Facebook usage intensity, and need for self-enhancement were key antecedents of both the generation and sharing of BRUGC. The results also indicated that gender, race and need for self-affirmation were not significantly related to generating and sharing BRUGC. Both generating and sharing BRUGC were positively associated with attitude and intentions toward the restaurants. Originality/value This study is the first to develop a BRUGC scale through a rigorous scale development process. It thus contributes to consumer socialization theory literature in considering social media as a socialization agent. The findings provide valuable insights for both academicians and social media managers and aid in enhancing BRUGC.
... Thus, instead of affirming the personal self, the selfaffirmation procedure may have affirmed the relational self (Sedikides, Gaertner, Luke, O'Mara, & Gebauer, 2013). Second, the results were at odds with other works (beyond the ambit of cognitive dissonance research), by showing that self-affirmation did not lead our participants either to trivialize (Critcher & Dunning, 2015;Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999) or to change attitude (e.g., Steele & Liu, 1983). ...
Article
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Individuals may knowingly engage in eco-unfriendly behaviors even though they endorse the injunctive norm that people should protect the environment. Although they presumably experience cognitive dissonance, they often fail to change either their environment-related behavior or their support for the injunctive norm. In the first of two experiments, we compared a low-choice condition (low dissonance arousal) with a standard high-choice condition and a high-choice condition with injunctive norm (high dissonance arousal). Results showed that acting freely in an eco-unfriendly and counterattitudinal manner resulted in less acceptance of responsibility, but responsibility was not denied if the injunctive norm was made salient. We hypothesized that this was driven by a desire to maintain self-integrity. In the second experiment (preregistered study), we sought to test this hypothesis by manipulating self-affirmation and the salience of the injunctive norm in a high-choice situation. Results confirmed that participants protected their self-integrity by denying responsibility or relying on the injunctive norm. Moreover, attitude toward waste recycling was more positive when the injunctive norm was salient, regardless of self-affirmation.
... With regard to the under-researched effect of the self-verification motive on eWOM, Schmalz et al. (2018) indicate that consumers' self-verification attempts to confirm what they already believe about themselves affect how they rate the helpfulness of online product reviews. Specific to eWOM sharing, research shows that self-verification can reduce cognitive dissonance (Steele and Liu, 1983) and rumination about failures (Koole et al., 1999) and vulnerability (Bi et al., 2019), including negative consumption experiences. Wakefield and Wakefield (2018) also argue that NWOM sharing may serve to acknowledge one's true, albeit Intended audience and valence of eWOM negative, feelings. ...
Article
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Purpose This study aims to systematically evaluate the psychological factors of independent versus interdependent self-construal, self-evaluation motives of enhancement versus verification, and the mediating role of bridging and bonding social capital on consumers' positive and negative brand-related electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) sharing with in-group and out-group audiences. Design/methodology/approach The online survey was conducted with young adult consumers in the Netherlands ( N = 322). Multiple regression analysis with PROCESS was used to test the hypotheses. Findings Consumers with independent self-construal are more likely to share negative eWOM, particularly via social messengers with in-group members. These consumers, however, tend to share positive eWOM on companies' social media accounts that reach out-group audiences including online strangers. Additionally, self-evaluation was the key motivation driving positive eWOM sharing with in-groups, while bridging social capital mediated the effects of self-construal on sharing negative eWOM. Originality/value The paper provides a more holistic understanding of the factors impacting the valence and intended audience for eWOM sharing. The findings advance eWOM research by differentiating positive and negative eWOM sharing in the context of intergroup communication.
... Moreover, even a single case of insecurity-reminder could unleash a surge of repetitive, disruptive thinking around the uncomfortable topic, as the process of emotionally reprocessing and expressing troubling content to others has been shown to trigger rumination (Stanton et al., 2000). Indeed, information about one's shortcomings is known to be particularly prone to being the topic of rumination (Brunstein & Gollwitzer, 1996;Koole, Smeets, Van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). Unlike when people contemplate a troubling event to reach emotional closure or devise a viable resolution (i.e., known as "reflection, " Saffrey & Ehrenberg, 2007), rumination leads people to dwell over the unpleasant details of a distressing situation (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991), making its occurrence all the more unwelcome. ...
Article
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People seek and receive support from friends through self-disclosure. However, when self-disclosures reveal personal insecurities, do people rely on friends as an audience as they normally do? This research demonstrates that they do not. Five preregistered studies show that disclosers exhibit a weaker preference for friends as an audience when disclosures involve revealing personal insecurities than when they involve revealing other neutral or negative personal information. This effect is observed despite that the only alternative audience available to disclosers in these studies is a stranger. We theorize that such an effect occurs because disclosers anticipate stronger pain associated with being reminded of disclosed contents when their disclosures involve personal insecurities than other types of information and, thus, wish to avoid such reminders from happening. Our findings support this theorizing: (a) Disclosers' weaker preference for friends as an audience for insecurity-provoking (vs. noninsecurity-provoking) disclosure is mediated by how painful they anticipate reminders of disclosed contents to be and (b) disclosers' preference for a particular audience is diminished when the perceived likelihood of disclosed-content reminders associated with that audience is enhanced. An additional preregistered exploratory content-analysis study shows that when disclosing personal insecurities, people disclose less and are less intimate in what they disclose when they imagine a friend (vs. a stranger) as an audience. Altogether, disclosers are ironically found to open up less to friends about personal insecurities-self-aspects that may particularly benefit from friends' support-than about other topics, due to their avoidance of potentially painful disclosed-content reminders. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... For example, research on negative rumination has found that private self-reflection can be distinguished from maladaptive rumination (Trapnell & Campbell, 1999), indicating that self-awareness is not inherently a rumination risk. Self-Affirmation Theory (Aronson, Cohen, & Nail, 1999;Sherman & Cohen, 2006;Steele, 1988) has produced considerable evidence that reminders of broader valued aspects of the self (e.g., writing briefly about a core value after a threat to some other aspect of the self; reminders of other important goals when frustrated about a particular goal), can reduce both negative rumination (Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999) and defensive reactions (Sherman & Cohen, 2006). ...
Article
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We provide a theoretical framework for what it means to be self-connected and propose that self-connection is an important potential contributor to a person’s well-being. We define self-connection as consisting of three components: 1) an awareness of oneself, 2) an acceptance of oneself based on this awareness, and 3) an alignment of one’s behavior with this awareness. First, we position the concept within the broader self literature and provide the empirical context for our proposed definition of self-connection. We next compare and contrast self-connection to related constructs, including mindfulness and authenticity. Following, we discuss some of the potential relationships between self-connection and various aspects of mental health and well-being. Finally, we provide initial recommendations for future research, including potential ways to promote self-connection. In all, we present this theory to provide researchers with a framework for understanding self-connection so that they can utilize this concept to better support the efforts of researchers and practitioners alike to increase individuals’ well-being in various contexts.
... Thus, the self-affirmation catalyzes cognitive and emotional flexibility which eases the optimal use of self-resources relevant to revive the poor resilience of the participants with depressive tendencies. These attributes of self-affirmation may also have lowered the suppression of thoughts (Koole & van Knippenberg, 2007), the perceived pain, fatigue, lethargy, anxiety, suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviours (Yildirim et al., 2017) and ruminative thinking (Koole et al., 1999) which are very close to the depressive tendencies on one hand and may have improved the appetite, positive attributions and well-being on the other (Yildirim et al., 2017). ...
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Although self-affirmation promotes a variety of positive life outcomes in normal adults, empirical efforts lack about its role in the restoration and protection of resilience of adults with depressive tendencies. This study aims to understand the effects of self-affirmation intervention for restoring and preserving the resilience of Indian adults with depressive tendencies. The study used a sequential research design in which 80 participants with depressive tendencies were recruited by a purposive sampling method. They were randomly assigned equally to the experimental and control conditions. They participated in the study at pre-intervention, post-intervention and follow-up intervals. The results evinced that self-affirmation intervention helped to regain and preserve resilience. The mean resilience score of the experimental group participants was significantly higher than the control group. The main effects of conditions (experimental, control) and treatment intervals (pre, post, follow-up) were significant. Moreover, the interaction effect of conditions x treatment intervals was also significant. The significant differences in the mean resilience scores for pre-intervention, post-intervention and follow-up points of time revealed the restorative and protective capacities of self-affirmation intervention. The findings demonstrated that self-affirmation helps to restore the lowered resilience and check its further reduction even after 10 days of the termination of intervention. The facilitating impacts of self-affirmation intervention on the resilience may have remained intact after a significant gap due to enhanced meaning, self-worth, constructive values, inner attributes, positive cognitions and interpersonal relationships.
... Similarly, Di Paula and Campbell (2002) found that low self-esteem individuals ruminate more than high self-esteem ones when they failed in a task. In line with these findings, ruminative responses were shown to decrease when selfesteem experimentally enhanced (Koole et al., 1999;Nolen-Hoeksema, 2000). ...
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This study systematically examined the unique, mediating, and moderating effects of fundamental attachment dimensions (anxiety and avoidance), self-esteem, and self-compassion on the dimensions of rumination (brooding and reflection) and co-rumination. Turkish university students (N = 510) completed the measures of the major variables. Results revealed that attachment anxiety (but not attachment avoidance) and self-esteem predicted both dimensions of ruminations. Self-compassion predicted the brooding dimension of rumination and co-rumination, and moderated the effect of attachment avoidance on the reflection dimension of rumination. Self-compassion also mediated the effect of both self-esteem and attachment anxiety dimensions on brooding and co-rumination, respectively. Results suggested that while attachment anxiety and self-esteem emerged as the predominant predictors of rumination and co-rumination, self-compassion plays an additional role on both rumination and co-rumination via its unique, moderating, and mediating effects. Finally, diverse effects of attachment anxiety and avoidance on co-rumination have critical implications for close relationships.
... This is because personal values have been associated with differences in how people cope with stress in different cultures (Acklin, Brown, & Mauger, 1983;Madaan & Kumaran, 2015). In addition, not only values but selfaffirmation about one's most important values have also been linked to better resources, coping styles and psychological and physical health outcomes (Creswell et al., 2005;Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). ...
Article
Objective: Culture-related variables, such as personal values, have been suggested as important in stress processes, such as family caregiving of people with dementia. Personal values may be categorized into two dimensions: family and own personal values. Drawing upon the Sociocultural Stress and Coping model, the objective of this study is to analyze differences between caregivers depending on their values profiles. Method: Participants were 333 family caregivers of a spouse or a parent with dementia. Caregivers chose their two most important values, apart from caregiving, from a list of eight family-related and non-family-related values (own values). Therefore, three values profiles were possible: Family-values profile (FVP: the two values are family related), Mixed-values profile (MVP: one family related value and one own value), and Own-values profile (OVP: two own values were selected). In addition to values, sociodemographic variables, commitment and satisfaction with caregiving value and with chosen values, ambivalent feelings, and anxiety and depression symptomatology were assessed. ANOVA analyses were conducted. Results: The analyses suggest that caregivers in the FVP had lower levels of anxiety and ambivalent feelings and a higher commitment to and satisfaction with their chosen values than the other profiles. No differences were found for commitment and satisfaction with the caregiving value. Conclusion: Caregivers' value profiles seem to play an important role in the effects of stress over psychological health. Possible explanations of these effects about potential role conflicts and a higher commitment to values are discussed.
... Third, a personal values affirmation generates positive emotions that color the appraisal process (Creswell et al., 2013;Koole et al., 1999). Because of this, when facing performance pressure, those who self-affirm will be influenced by a positive affective state that enables them to more easily focus on the potential gains associated with the pressure compared to those who are facing similar pressure and do not self-affirm. ...
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Pressure to perform is ubiquitous in organizations. Although performance pressure produces beneficial outcomes, it can also encourage cheating behavior. However, removing performance pressure altogether to reduce cheating is not only impractical but also eliminates pressure's benefits. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to test an intervention to counteract some of the most harmful effects of performance pressure. Specifically, I integrate the self-protection model of workplace cheating (Mitchell et al., 2018) with self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) to demonstrate the utility of a personal values affirmation intervention to short-circuit the direct and indirect effects of performance pressure on cheating through anger and self-serving cognitions. Two experiments were used to test these predictions. In a lab experiment, when people affirmed core personal values, the effect of performance pressure on cheating was neutralized; as was pressure's direct effect on anger and indirect effect on cheating via anger. A field experiment replicated the intervention's ability to mitigate performance pressure's direct effect on anger and indirect effect on cheating through anger. Altogether, this work provides a useful approach for combating the harmful effects of performance pressure and offers several theoretical and practical implications. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Rumination is defined as a repetitive, negative, cyclical and self-referential mode of thinking referring to unsolved personal problems of the past, which is activated in the absence of related environmental stimuli. Specifically, rumination is described as an unpleasant, costly, useless and sometimes self-destructive form of thinking that begins with the intention of finding a solution to a problem, but then fixes itself on the dysfunctional and repetitive evaluation of the latter [5]. ...
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Starting from the definition of "post-traumatic stress disorder", as defined in the DSM-V and in the previous version, we proceed to define the clinical contexts and the neural correlates, to conclude with the most functional psychotherapeutic techniques to solve the problems related to psychopathology analyzed.
... Early work exploring the causal mechanisms contributing to self-affirmations benefits emphasized the role of affective and motivational states. Specifically, theorists suggested that self-affirmation enhances performance by influencing self-esteem (Kimble, Kimble, & Croy, 1988;Stone & Cooper, 2003), positive mood (Koole et al., 1999), and physiological stress response (Creswell et al., 2005). However, following metanalytic work that called into question the role of affective constructs in self-affirmation effects (McQueen & Kline, 2006), researchers have shifted their focus toward understanding how broad cognitive factors contribute to the facilitative effects of self-affirmation (Harris, Harris, & Miles, 2016;Legault, Al-Khindi, & Inzlicht, 2012;Logel & Cohen, 2012). ...
Article
The current study was designed to examine the influence of self-affirmation on the executive attention and mathematical performance of learners confronted with stereotype threat. Participants (N = 206) were exposed to self-affirmation and stereotype threat manipulations, completed operation-span and letter memory tasks, and a series of high-difficulty modular subtraction problems. Our results revealed that self-affirmed participants demonstrated lower mathematical performance when problems were completed under high stereotype threat conditions. Further, our data revealed the self-affirmation and stereotype threat manipulations had no impact on components of executive attention hypothesized to underlie stereotype threat effects. These findings add to recent literature calling into question the viability of self-affirmation as a strategy for protecting the achievement of at-risk students.
... Chronic self-construal is an ideal-like component of the self-concept, which people are reluctant to modify. Accordingly, rather than attempting to modify peoples' chronic self-views, interventions might aim to make individuals aware of their values, and might encourage the use of self-affirmative strategies (Kinias & Sim, 2016;Koole et al., 1999). Likewise, making the respective group members aware of their higher risk to adopt maladaptive motivational states can be part of useful interventions, since achievement goals are domain-specific thinking patterns that can be influenced through training (Godwin, Neck, & Houghton, 1999;Neck & Manz, 1992). ...
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The present studies investigated whether the gender composition of a group represents a sufficient situational cue for creating a mismatch between situationally accessible and ideal self-views. A longitudinal study of 333 employees revealed that being in the numerical minority implied a mismatch with ideal self-views among those who de-emphasized independence in their chronic self-construal, whereas being in the numerical majority constituted a mismatch with ideal self-views among those who emphasized independence. Both types of employees suffered a drop in self-esteem and adopted maladaptive motivational states, namely performance-avoidance goals. The observed deleterious effect of mismatched self-construal on goal pursuit was fully mediated by a perceived lack of acceptance (low social self-esteem). We replicated these findings in a laboratory study with 268 unacquainted individuals who collaborated in small groups on a non-gender-typed group task.
... However, there are illustrations to support the idea that positive feedback can lower motivation (e.g., Bargh et al., 2001;Koole et al., 1999;Liberman & Förster, 2000;Wicklund & Gollwitzer, 1982). In the domain of reducing/regulating prejudice this means that feeling success at being an unbiased person may actually lower the motivation to pursue egalitarian goals. ...
... While self-transcendent values serve to bolster well-being, inducing self-oriented materialistic values leads to negative outcomes, such as decreased prosocial behavior (160), even in young children (161). Affirming self-transcendent personal values, on the other hand, is linked to positive outcomes, including increased selfcontrol (162), reduced self-focused rumination (163), and less bias against personally challenging information (164). Kang et al. (165) found that inducing self-transcendent values led to healthier behaviors in the following month, as well as corresponding activity in a region of the vmPFC linked to positive evaluations and reward processing. ...
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Research indicates that core dimensions of psychological well-being can be cultivated through intentional mental training. Despite growing research in this area and an increasing number of interventions designed to improve psychological well-being, the field lacks a unifying framework that clarifies the dimensions of human flourishing that can be cultivated. Here, we integrate evidence from well-being research, cognitive and affective neuroscience, and clinical psychology to highlight four core dimensions of well-being—awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. We discuss the importance of each dimension for psychological well-being, identify mechanisms that underlie their cultivation, and present evidence of their neural and psychological plasticity. This synthesis highlights key insights, as well as important gaps, in the scientific understanding of well-being and how it may be cultivated, thus highlighting future research directions.
Article
Background: Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors (AYAs) experience clinically significant distress and have limited access to supportive care services. Interventions to enhance psychological well-being have improved positive affect and reduced depression in clinical and healthy populations but have not been routinely tested in AYAs. Objective: The aim of this protocol is to (1) test the feasibility and acceptability of a Web-based positive emotion skills intervention for posttreatment AYAs called Enhancing Management of Psychological Outcomes With Emotion Regulation (EMPOWER) and (2) examine proof of concept for reducing psychological distress and enhancing psychological well-being. Methods: The intervention development and testing are taking place in 3 phases. In phase 1, we adapted the content of an existing, Web-based positive emotion intervention so that it would be suitable for AYAs. EMPOWER targets 8 skills (noticing positive events, capitalizing, gratitude, mindfulness, positive reappraisal, goal setting, personal strengths, and acts of kindness) and is delivered remotely as a 5-week, Web-based intervention. Phase 2 consisted of a pilot test of EMPOWER in a single-arm trial to evaluate feasibility, acceptability, retention, and adherence and to collect data on psychosocial outcomes for proof of concept. In phase 3, we are refining study procedures and conducting a second pilot test. Results: The project was part of a career development award. Pilot work began in June 2015, and data collection was completed in March 2019. The analysis is ongoing, and results will be submitted for publication by May 2020. Conclusions: If this intervention proves feasible and acceptable, EMPOWER will be primed for a subsequent large, multisite randomized controlled trial. As a scalable intervention, it will be ideally suited for AYA survivors who would otherwise not have access to supportive care interventions to help manage posttreatment distress and enhance well-being. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02832154, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02832154. International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/17078.
Chapter
In this chapter, we describe a program of research on resilience and aging from a developmental psychological perspective. We begin with a selective review of the broad literature on resilience, giving emphasis to the major approaches, empirical findings, and guiding principles that characterize prior studies. We then examine the relevance of positive affect as a basic building block of resilience in adulthood and later life. We put forth a dynamic conception of resilience to elucidate, theoretically and empirically, how some individuals are able to maintain, recover, or improve their health and well-being in the face of life challenges. Selected parts of ongoing studies are integrated to illustrate how our formulation of resilience guides our program of empirical research on positive affect and aging. We conclude with a brief consideration of future research directions to advance understanding of adulthood resilience.
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Building on theories of conscious goals and feedback, we investigated the moderating effect of negative feedback on the relation between subconscious goals and performance. In two lab experiments, we manipulated subconscious performance goals and negative feedback about personal performance as well as social comparison information. In Study 1 (n = 80), subconscious goals positively influenced performance in an attention and concentration task when participants had received no feedback and negatively when participants had been confronted with negative performance feedback. In Study 2 (n = 90), additional comparison feedback indicating a higher performance of others led to higher performance of participants with versus without subconscious performance goals. The moderating effect of feedback was visible in self-efficacy, and we found partial support for its mediating role.
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Cognitive-behavioral models of OCD and models of cognitive dissonance have converged in emphasizing how intrusive or dissonant thoughts conflict with – and therefore threaten - one’s self-concept. In the present article, we review the rich history of theory on self-concept in OCD, culminating in the cotemporary fear of self conceptualization. We then draw conceptual parallels between the internal psychological tension generated by intrusive thoughts, and the experience of cognitive dissonance. A review of the literature reveals considerable overlap between these two cognitive phenomena and demonstrates particular compatibility between self-affirmation theory and models of OCD in which fear of self is a central feature. Drawing on a theoretical synthesis of these literatures, it is suggested that cognitive dissonance research can provide insights that can be utilized to gain a deeper understanding of OCD. Potential applications of self-affirmation theory to OCD treatment are discussed.
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Financial hardship is an established source of shame. This research explores whether shame is also a driver and exacerbator of financial hardship. Six experimental, archival, and correlational studies (N = 9,110)—including data from customer bank account histories and several longitudinal surveys that allow for participant fixed effects and identical twin comparisons—provide evidence for a vicious cycle between shame and financial hardship: Shame induces financial withdrawal, which increases the probability of counterproductive financial decisions that only deepen one’s financial hardship. Consistent with this model, shame was a stronger driver of financial hardship than the related emotion of guilt because shame increases withdrawal behaviors more than guilt. We also found that a theoretically motivated intervention—affirming acts of kindness—can break this cycle by reducing the link between financial shame and financial disengagement. This research suggests that shame helps set a poverty trap by creating a self-reinforcing cycle of financial hardship.
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If performance goals (i.e., motivation to prove ability) increase children's vulnerability to depression (Dykman, 1998), why are they overlooked in the psychopathology literature? Evidence has relied on self-report or observational methods and has yet to articulate how this vulnerability unfolds across levels of analysis implicated in stress-depression linkages; for example, hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis (HPA), sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Utilizing a multiple-levels-of-analysis approach (Cicchetti, 2010), this experimental study tested Dykman's goal orientation model of depression vulnerability in a community sample of preadolescents (N = 121, M age = 10.60 years, Range = 9.08-12.00 years, 51.6% male). Self-reports of performance goals, attachment security, and subjective experience of internalizing difficulties were obtained in addition to objective behavioral (i.e., task persistence) and physiologic arousal (i.e., salivary cortisol, skin conductance level) responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and two randomly assigned coping conditions: avoidance, distraction. Children with performance goals reported greater internalizing difficulties and exhibited more dysregulated TSST physiologic responses (i.e., HPA hyper-reactivity, SNS protracted recovery), yet unexpectedly displayed greater TSST task persistence and more efficient physiologic recovery during avoidance relative to distraction. These associations were stronger and nonsignificant in the context of insecure and secure attachment, respectively. Findings illustrate a complex matrix of in-the-moment, integrative psychobiological relationships linking performance goals to depression vulnerability.
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Objectives: The present study examined the preliminary efficacy of an ultra-brief cognitive defusion intervention, compared to a positive self-affirmation intervention, on moderate subclinical Public Speaking Anxiety (PSA). Method: Sixty-three participants (M=25.70 yrs, SD=9.48) first completed a questionnaire assessing PSA symptomology and were then randomly assigned to receive one of two interventions (cognitive defusion, positive self-affirmation) or nothing at all (no-treatment control). All participants then performed an impromptu speech task before recompleting the questionnaire. Results: A significant decrease in PSA was reported within the cognitive defusion condition, relative to the positive self-affirmation and no-treatment control conditions. Conclusions: An ultra-brief cognitive defusion intervention has the potential to reduce short-term anxiety among those with moderate PSA.
Article
Although individuals have different kinds of defensive strategies towards identity threat, the relationship between identity threat and unethical behavior is still unclear. In the current study, according to identity threat and self-affirmation theory, we propose and test the role of publicness of identity threat in determining whether identity threat will lead to unethical behavior. One online experiment with 197 participants (mixed design) and one laboratory experiment with 86 participants (between-subject design) are used to test our hypotheses. Our findings reveal that when individuals' identity threat is from the public sphere, it will increase their unethical behavior, but when such a threat is from the private sphere, it will reduce their unethical behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Article
The present study offers a proof‐of‐concept for the delivery of values affirmation via text message. In two studies, we tested whether we could distill the typical 15‐minute pen‐and‐paper values affirmation exercise into a brief (∼4 minute) text‐message based exercise. In Study 1 (N = 42), we asked students to identify an upcoming academic stressor. In Study 2, we targeted students (N = 121) who reported that they would be starting a summer internship they expected to be stressful. In both studies, students completed a brief exercise (affirmation or control) via text message the night before their stressor. Across the studies, we found consistent benefits of this mobile affirmation on students’ belonging, inconsistent effects on their perceptions of stress, and no effects on their evaluations of their stressor when measured shortly after (Study 1) or during (Study 2) the stressor. Together, these studies offer initial evidence for a novel, promising, and scalable method of delivering values affirmation at the “right time and place” using mobile technology. We also discuss lessons we learned and offer recommendations to researchers interested in administering affirmation via text message.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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It was hypothesized that individuals evaluate data relevant to outcome attributions in a manner that enables them to maintain logical consistency between the available evidence and their self-serving attributions for the outcome. Subjects were led to succeed or fail on a bogus social sensitivity test and then were given information concerning two studies, one of which concluded that the test was valid and the other that the test was not valid. As predicted, success subjects evaluated the high-validity conclusion study more favorably and the low-validity conclusion study less favorably than did failure subjects. Furthermore, exposure to the mixed evidence after the performance feedback led to increased selt-ratings of social sensitivity among success subjects, but had no effect on failure subjects. The implications of these results for understanding how individuals generate and maintain self-serving beliefs were discussed.
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A non-parametric method for evaluating the results of recognition memory experiments and psychophysical detection experiments is presented. The method is based upon an ordinal analysis of recognition performance, which transforms the results of recognition tests into equivalent results for a forced-choice experiment.
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Assessed the effects of individuals' proneness to cognitive interference on performance following failure. Ss responded to a questionnaire tapping proneness to cognitive interference and were exposed to either no feedback or failure. On completing these problems, Ss performed a cognitive task in which the memory load was varied systematically. The cognitive interference theory successfully predicted most of the group differences: (a) Only the performance of Ss with a habitual tendency to engage in off-task cognitions was debilitated by failure; (b) this performance impairment was only observed in performance accuracy in the high memory load version of the task; and (c) performance accuracy was associated with the frequency of off-task cognitions in the experiment. Results were discussed in terms of the cognitive interference interpretation of learned helplessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Prior to each target letter string presented visually to 120 university students in a speeded word–nonword classification task, either {bird, body, building,} or {xxx} appeared as a priming event. Five types of word-prime/word-target trials were used: bird-robin, bird-arm, body-door, body-sparrow, and body-heart. The stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between prime and target letter string varied between 250 and 2,000 msec. At 2,000-msec SOA, reaction times (RTs) on bird-robin type trials were faster than on xxx-prime trials (facilitation), whereas RTs on bird-arm type trials were slower than on xxx-prime (inhibition). As SOA decreased, the facilitation effect on bird-robin trials remained constant, but the inhibition effect on bird-arm decreased until, at 250-msec SOA, there was no inhibition. For Shift conditions at 2,000-msec SOA, facilitation was obtained on body-door type trials and inhibition was obtained on body-sparrow type. These effects decreased as SOA decreased until there was no facilitation or inhibition. On body-heart type trials, there was an inhibition effect at 2,000 msec SOA, which decreased as SOA decreased until, at 250-msec SOA, it became a facilitation effect. Results support the theory of M. I. Posner and S. R. Snyder (1975) that postulated 2 distinct components of attention: a fast automatic inhibitionless spreading-activation process and a slow limited-capacity conscious-attention mechanism. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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[the terms ruminative thoughts or rumination] refer to a class of conscious thoughts that revolve around a common instrumental theme and that recur in the absence of immediate environmental demands requiring the thoughts / propose a formal definition of rumination and a theoretical model / the model addresses [goals and other] factors that initiate and terminate rumination as well as those that influence its content / the model also outlines some of the consequences of rumination for a variety of cognitive, affective, and behavioral phenomena / believe the model not only suggests a way in which to integrate what are currently separate yet related literature on ruminative phenomena (e.g., meaning analysis, daydreaming, problem solving, reminiscence, anticipation) but also suggests directions for future research / present evidence for some of the model's assumptions and then discuss some consequences of rumination varieties of conscious thought / the mechanisms of rumination / additional considerations [the relation between affect and rumination, individual differences, is the model falsifiable] (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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explore the motivational implications of the information provided by individuals' elated or depressed mood states / review research suggesting that negative affective states are likely to trigger systematic, detail-oriented strategies of information processing, whereas positive affective states are likely to trigger heuristic strategies of information processing / relate the information provided by one's affective state to different stages of the action sequence / explore the impact of moods on goal setting, estimates of attainment likelihood, and performance evaluation / suggests that the impact of affective states may be more complex than has been reflected in previous research, and that mood states may have very different effects, depending on the stage at which moods exert their influence cognitive tuning: moods and strategies of information processing / moods and the action sequence: why things are likely to be more complex (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The question of how affect arises and what affect indicates is examined from a feedback-based viewpoint on self-regulation. Using the analogy of action control as the attempt to diminish distance to a goal, a second feedback system is postulated that senses and regulates the rate at which the action-guiding system is functioning. This second system is seen as responsible for affect. Implications of these assertions and issues that arise from them are addressed in the remainder of the article. Several issues relate to the emotion model itself; others concern the relation between negative emotion and disengagement from goals. Relations to 3 other emotion theories are also addressed. The authors conclude that this view on affect is a useful supplement to other theories and that the concept of emotion is easily assimilated to feedback models of self-regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Goals and related constructs are ubiquitous in psychological research and span the history of psychology. Research on goals has accumulated sporadically through research programs in cognition, personality, and motivation. Goals are defined as internal representations of desired states. In this article, the authors review the theoretical development of the structure and properties of goals, goal establishment and striving processes, and goal-content taxonomies. They discuss affect as antecedent, consequence, and content of goals and argue for integrating across psychological content areas to study goal-directed cognition and action more efficiently. They emphasize the structural and dynamic aspects of pursuing multiple goals, parallel processing, and the parsimony provided by the goal construct. Finally, they advocate construct validation of a taxonomy of goals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Conducted 2 studies to assess the proposition that self-esteem (SE) serves an anxiety-buffering function. In Study 1, it was hypothesized that raising SE would reduce the need to deny vulnerability (VL) to early death. In support of this hypothesis, positive personality feedback eliminated 97 university students' tendency to bias emotionality reports to deny VL to a short life expectancy, except when mortality had been made salient to the Ss. Study 2, in which 47 university students participated, conceptually replicated this effect by demonstrating that whereas Ss low in trait SE biased emotionality reports to deny VL to a short life expectancy, Ss high in trait SE did not exhibit such a bias. Thus, converging evidence that SE reduces VL-denying defensive distortions was obtained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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For a variety of reasons, social perceivers may often attempt to actively inhibit stereotypic thoughts before their effects impinge on judgment and behavior. However, research on the psychology of mental control raises doubts about the efficacy of this strategy. Indeed, this work suggests that when people attempt to suppress unwanted thoughts, these thoughts are likely to subsequently reappear with even greater insistence than if they had never been suppressed (i.e., a "rebound" effect). The present research comprised an investigation of the extent to which this kind of rebound effect extends to unwanted stereotypic thoughts about others. The results provide strong support for the existence of this effect. Relative to control Ss (i.e., stereotype users), stereotype suppressors responded more pejoratively to a stereotyped target on a range of dependent measures. We discuss our findings in the wider context of models of mind, thought suppression, and social stereotyping. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Discusses issues in the cognitive representation and control of action from the perspective of action identification theory. This theory holds that any action can be identified in many ways, ranging from low-level identities that specify how the action is performed to high-level identities that signify why or with what effect the action is performed. The level of identification most likely to be adopted by an actor is dictated by processes reflecting a trade-off between concerns for comprehensive action understanding and effective action maintenance. This suggests that the actor is always sensitive to contextual cues to higher levels of identification but moves to lower levels of identification if the action proves difficult to maintain with higher level identities in mind. These processes are documented empirically, as is their coordinated interplay in promoting a level of prepotent identification that matches the upper limits of the actor's capacity to perform the action. Implications are developed for action stability, the psychology of performance impairment, personal vs situational causation, and the behavioral bases of self-understanding. (87 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Behavior and experience are organized around the enjoyment and pursuit of incentives. During the time that an incentive is behaviorally salient, an organism is especially responsive to incentive-related cues. This sustained sensitivity requires postulating a continuing state (denoted by a construct, current concern) with a definite onset (commitment) and offset (consummation or disengagement). Disengagement follows frustration, accompanies the behavioral process of extinction, and involves an incentive-disengagement cycle of invigoration, aggression, depression, and recovery. Depression is thus a normal part of disengagement that may be either adaptive or maladaptive for the individual but is probably adaptive for the species. The theory offers implications for motivation; etiology, symptomatology, and treatment of depression; drug use; and other social problem areas.
Article
The question of how affect arises and what affect indicates is examined from a feedback-based viewpoint on self-regulation. Using the analogy of action control as the attempt to diminish distance to a goal, a second feedback system is postulated that senses and regulates the rate at which the action-guiding system is functioning. This second system is seen as responsible for affect. Implications of these assertions and issues that arise from them are addressed in the remainder of the article. Several issues relate to the emotion model itself; others concern the relation between negative emotion and disengagement from goals. Relations to 3 other emotion theories are also addressed. The authors conclude that this view on affect is a useful supplement to other theories and that the concept of emotion is easily assimilated to feedback models of self-regulation.
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A critical question in self-esteem research is whether people's reactions to success and failure are guided by their global self-esteem level or by their more specific beliefs about their abilities and attributes. To address this issue, the authors led participants to experience success or failure on an alleged test and then assessed their cognitive and emotional reactions to these outcomes. In Experiment 1, specific self-views predicted participants' cognitive reactions to their performance outcomes, whereas global self-esteem predicted participants' emotional reactions to their performance outcomes. In Experiment 2, global self-esteem predicted participants' emotional reactions to their performance outcomes even after participants' beliefs about their more specific abilities and attributes were taken into account. These findings suggest that when it comes to understanding people's emotional reactions to success and failure, the effects of global self-esteem are not reducible to the way people think about their constituent qualities.
Chapter
This chapter investigates how individuals react when they are unable to exert control over their environment—when they are unable to have options or reach goals that are important to them, or when they are forced to endure outcomes that they would not voluntarily choose. It reviews a number of theories that have focused on the importance of control over one's environment. Some investigators have suggested that the perception of inability to exert control over one's environment can even result in sudden death from coronary disease or other factors. Furthermore, feelings of lack of control have also been viewed as a cause of many types of antisocial behaviors. There are two theories that make rather specific predictions concerning reactions to lack or loss of control: Brehm's theory of psychological reactance and Seligman's learned helplessness model. The chapter discusses these theoretical orientations in some detail. Because these two formulations appear to make contradictory predictions, it attempts to integrate them into a single theoretical statement. The chapter also reviews the relevant evidence, and discusses a number of unresolved theoretical problems.
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Self-affirmation processes are being activated by information that threatens the perceived adequacy or integrity of the self and as running their course until this perception is restored through explanation, rationalization, and/or action. The purpose of these constant explanations (and rationalizations) is to maintain a phenomenal experience of the self-self-conceptions and images as adaptively and morally adequate—that is, as competent, good, coherent, unitary, stable, capable of free choice, capable of controlling important outcomes, and so on. The research reported in this chapter focuses on the way people cope with the implications of threat to their self-regard rather than on the way they cope with the threat itself. This chapter analyzes the way coping processes restore self-regard rather than the way they address the provoking threat itself.
Article
Many White people simultaneously hold both sympathetic and antagonistic attitudes toward Blacks. The present research found that activation of these conflicted racial attitudes gives rise to psychological tension and discomfort, as evidenced by negative mood change, and that the amount of discomfort depends on individual differences in measured ambivalence. The salience of Mite subjects' racial attitudes was manipulated by exposing half the subjects to controversial statements about a recent local incident of racial violence; the other half read neutral material Before and after this manipulation, subjects took a mood test disguised as a subliminal perception task. Subjects in the high-salience condition showed significantly more negative mood change. This effect was carried by high-salience subjects who were also relatively high on dispositional racial ambivalence, as measured by a questionnaire. Ambivalence was unrelated to mood in the control condition. A second study showed that merely completing the questionnaire was not sufficient to produce negative mood change.
Article
This research develops and tests a model relating complexity of self-representation to affective and evaluative responses. The basic hypothesis is that the less complex a person's cognitive representation of the self, the more extreme will be the person's swings in affect and self-appraisal. Experiment 1 showed that those lower in self-complexity experienced greater swings in affect and self-appraisal following a failure or success experience. Experiment 2 showed that those lower in self-complexity experienced greater variability in affect over a 2-week period. The results are discussed, first, in terms of self-complexity as a buffer against the negative effects of stressful life events, particularly depression; and, second, in terms of the thought patterns of depressed persons. The results reported here suggest that level of self-complexity may provide a promising cognitive marker for vulnerability to depression.
Book
With scientific evidence showing an unprecedented rate of climate change – a rate much faster than anticipated a few years ago – more active climate protection engagement is needed around the globe. In this context individuals and the community level play a vital role, and there are also considerable expectations by citizens that national governments will take the lead. Yet engagement is slow, and this raises questions regarding the motivation for action and how to get widespread engagement, particularly at the local level. Some issues that have motivated action include experiencing the local impact of climate change and a realisation that it has a security impact (from many different perspectives – from climate migration to socio-economic impacts). Studies that address the cost of action and inaction have placed climate change on the political map, and community leaders that have engaged from various angles such as improving air quality have gained multiple benefits for the community and the environment, as an indirect approach to local climate action. This chapter explores why the local level urgently needs to engage, and what its representatives – political leaders, staff and citizens – need to know about what they are dealing with, and why they should deal with it.
Article
Conducted 2 experiments to examine whether the tendency to make more extreme attributions following control deprivation, observed by T. S. Pittman and N. L. Pittman (see record 1981-25822-001), stemmed from a motive to regain actual environmental control or to affirm an image of oneself as able to control (important outcomes). Study 1 varied control deprivation by exposing 78 undergraduates to either high-, low-, or no-helplessness training prior to measuring attributions. A 4th condition exposed Ss to low-helplessness training but allowed them to affirm a valued self-image (by completing a self-relevant value scale) just prior to the attribution measure. Replicating the findings of Pittman and Pittman, Ss made more extreme attributions and had worse moods in the high- and low-helplessness conditions than in the no-helplessness condition, but in the 4th condition the self-affirming value scale eliminated the effect of low-helplessness training on both attributions and mood. Study 2, using 32 undergraduates, showed that this effect occurred only when the value scale was central to Ss' self-concept. It is concluded that the motive for attributional analysis following control deprivation in this paradigm was to protect a positive self-image rather than to regain environmental control and that this motive can stimulate attributional analysis that is not related to the self or the provoking control threat and, thus, is not self-serving. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
concerned with how people defend themselves against a threatened loss of self-esteem / provide some background and context by considering the role that ego defense plays in the broader dramas of motivation and the guidance of action (i.e., self-regulation) / describe some of the studies . . . done on the cognitive responses people use to ward off unflattering implications or esteem-threatening events / examine how defensive responses can affect the way people commit themselves to goals—sometimes with paradoxical, self-destructive results self-management: setting and meeting goals (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A critical question in self-esteem research is whether people's reactions to success and failure are guided by their global self-esteem level or by their more specific beliefs about their abilities and attributes. To address this issue, the authors led participants to experience success or failure on an alleged test and then assessed their cognitive and emotional reactions to these outcomes. In Experiment 1, specific self-views predicted participants' cognitive reactions to their performance outcomes, whereas global self-esteem predicted participants' emotional reactions to their performance outcomes. In Experiment 2, global self-esteem predicted participants' emotional reactions to their performance outcomes even after participants' beliefs about their more specific abilities and attributes were taken into account. These findings suggest that when it comes to understanding people's emotional reactions to success and failure, the effects of global self-esteem are not reducible to the way people think about their constituent qualities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Proposes an integrative theoretical framework for studying psychological aspects of incentive relationships. During the time that an incentive is behaviorally salient, an organism is especially responsive to incentive-related cues. This sustained sensitivity requires postulating a continuing state (denoted by a construct, current concern) with a definite onset (commitment) and offset (consummation or disengagement). Disengagement follows frustration, accompanies the behavioral process of extinction, and involves an incentive-disengagement cycle of invigoration, aggression, depression, and recovery. Depression is thus a normal part of disengagement that may be either adaptive or maladaptive for the individual but is probably adaptive for the species. Implications for motivation; etiology, symptomatology, and treatment of depression; drug use; and other social problem areas are discussed. (41/2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The authors argue that self-image maintenance processes play an important role in stereotyping and prejudice. Three studies demonstrated that when individuals evaluated a member of a stereotyped group, they were less likely to evaluate that person negatively if their self-images had been bolstered through a self-affirmation procedure, and they were more likely to evaluate that person stereotypically if their self-images had been threatened by negative feedback. Moreover, among those individuals whose self-image had been threatened, derogating a stereotyped target mediated an increase in their self-esteem. The authors suggest that stereotyping and prejudice may be a common means to maintain one's self-image, and they discuss the role of self-image-maintenance processes in the context of motivational, sociocultural, and cognitive approaches to stereotyping and prejudice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Hypothesized that because public evaluative situations are most likely to encourage conditional self-regard, an overevaluation of self-image as a way to compensate for the threat of failure (compensatory self-inflation) is likely to occur if a failure is public but not if it is private. 76 female undergraduates either succeeded or failed on a test of social sensitivity, and the outcome was either known or not known to others. Half of the Ss were subsequently required to evaluate the positive and negative aspects of the test on a social attitudes questionnaire. The favorability of self-image of all the Ss was then assessed. The self-images of Ss who evaluated the test were not affected by the outcome manipulation. Compared with these Ss, among Ss who did not evaluate the test, favorability of self-image was increased after public failure and decreased after private failure. The hypothesis that compensatory self-inflation occurs after public but not private failure was confirmed. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
the mental routines involved in attaining many important goals of social interaction can exert an influence on: (1) attentional and perceptual processes, (2) encoding and organizational processes, (3) storage and retrieval processes, (4) higher order integration and judgment processes, (5) response selection processes, and (6) affective and emotional reactions / discuss each of these stages attempt to show . . . [that] research efforts related to each of these stages has contributed substantially . . . to our general understanding of the relationship between the motivational and cognitive systems (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Trivialization as a mode of dissonance reduction and the conditions under which it is likely to occur were explored in 4 studies. Study 1 tested and supported the hypothesis that when the preexisting attitude is made salient, participants will trivialize the dissonant cognitions rather than change their attitudes. Study 2 tested and supported the hypothesis that following a counterattitudinal behavior, participants will choose the first mode of dissonance reduction provided for them, whether it is trivialization or attitude change. Study 3 tested and supported the hypothesis that following a counterattitudinal behavior, the typical self-affirmation treatment leads to trivialization. Study 4 demonstrated that providing a trivializing frame by making an important issue salient also encourages trivialization rather than attitude change even when there was no opportunity for self-affirmation. The implications for cognitive dissonance theory and research are briefly discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the idea that thought suppression creates a unique bond between the suppressed item and one's mood state, such that the reactivation of one leads to the reinstatement of the other. In Exp 1, 112 college students who were induced by music to experience positive or negative moods reported their thoughts while trying to think or not think about a white bear. When all Ss were subsequently asked to think about a white bear, those who were in similar moods during thought suppression and later expression displayed a particularly strong rebound of the suppressed thought. In Exp 2, 84 Ss' moods following the expression of a previously suppressed or expressed thought were assessed. Analysis of the mood reports showed that Ss who had initially tried to suppress their thoughts experienced a reinstatement of the mood state that existed during the initial period of suppression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Tested the hypothesis that an experience that simply affirms a valued aspect of the self can eliminate dissonance and its accompanying cognitive changes. Three experiments were conducted using the conventional forced-compliance procedure. In Study 1, some of the 76 college student Ss were allowed to affirm an important, self-relevant value (by completing a self-relevant value scale) immediately after having written unrelated dissonant essays and prior to recording their attitudes on the postmeasure. Other Ss underwent an identical procedure but were selected so that the value affirmed by the scale was not part of their self-concept. The value scale eliminated dissonance-reducing attitude change among Ss for whom it was self-relevant but not among Ss for whom it was not self-relevant. This occurred even though the value scale could not resolve or reduce the objective importance of the dissonance-provoking inconsistency. Study 2, conducted with 24 Ss with a strong economic and political value orientation, showed that the self-affirmation effect was strong enough to prevent the reinstatement of dissonance. Study 3, testing generalizability with 24 Ss, replicated the effect by using a different attitude issue, a different value for affirmation, and a different measure of dissonance reduction. Results imply that a need for psychological consistency is not part of dissonance motivation and that salient, self-affirming cognitions may help objectify reactions to self-threatening information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In 4 experiments the authors investigated dynamic properties of representations of intentions. After Ss had memorized 2 texts describing simple activities, they were instructed that they would have to later execute one of the scripts. On an intervening recognition test, words from the to-be-executed script produced faster latencies than did words from a 2nd to-be-memorized script. This intention-superiority effect was obtained even when (1) selective encoding and poststudy imagery or rehearsal of the to-be-executed script was prohibited and (2) Ss expected a final free-recall test for both scripts. In a control condition in which Ss had to observe someone else executing a script, latencies for words from the to-be-observed script did not differ from neutral words. In conclusion, representations of intentions show a heightened level of subthreshold activation in long-term memory that cannot be accounted for by the use of controlled strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)