ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
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The “How” and the “Why” of Restoring Goal-Pursuit after a Failure: A Pilot Intervention Study

Authors
  Eugenia Gorlin - University of Virginia

In Press (Uncorrected Proof), Pages 1-20
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.051015

Abstract

Maladaptive coping with failure can cause considerable distress and impairment. This study tested a novel intervention that trains participants to process both the value (“why”) and means (“how”) of reengaging in adaptive goal-pursuit after a failure. Students (N=263) received bogus failure feedback on an academic test battery, and were randomly assigned to Why-only, How-only, or Combined (How+Why) goal-focused training, or a “free-thinking” Control condition, before completing a second battery. Cognitive performance, rumination, and negative affect during both batteries were assessed. Trait rumination and an aggregate of emotion-related symptoms were examined as moderators. Results in the overall sample were mixed, with Combined and Control participants both showing some benefits from training. Notably, among high-ruminative and high-symptom participants, Combined training yielded the greatest improvement in reading comprehension and rumination, as expected. Results, though mixed, suggest this novel intervention may hold promise for enhancing failure resilience in emotionally vulnerable samples. 


Table of Contents

Correspondence to
Ms. Eugenia Gorlin

Keywords
negative affect, post-failure rumination, goals, cognitive performance, training, depression, anxiety, individual differences

Dates
Received 5 Sep 2015; Revised 28 Oct 2016; Accepted 28 Oct 2016; In Press 19 Feb 2017







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