| Volume 8, Issue 2, 88-109, 2017 |
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|The “How” and the “Why” of Restoring Goal-Pursuit after a Failure: A Pilot Intervention Study|
| Eugenia Gorlin - University of Virginia|
| Bethany Teachman - University of Virginia|
|Volume 8, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 88-109|
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|
Asking “How” versus “Why” during Post-failure Processing
Overview and Hypotheses
Prescreening and baseline measures.
State rumination and affect measures.
Cognitive performance measures.
Rumination induction task.
"Free-thinking" Control condition.
Data Reduction and Scoring
Descriptive Statistics and Zero-order Correlations
Overview of Analytic Strategy
Effects of Failure and Rumination Induction on Negative Affect
Effects of Goal-Focused Processing Conditions on Primary Outcomes
Fluency and Problem-solving.
State negative affect.
Theoretical Implications: When and for Whom is How+Why Goal-focused Processing Beneficial?
Differential effects of processing condition on cognitive performance measures.
Benefits of “free-thinking” control condition, especially for healthy participants.
Potential Clinical Implications
Limitations and Conclusion
|Eugenia I. Gorlin at the University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904 |
|negative affect, post-failure rumination, goals, cognitive performance, training, depression, anxiety, individual differences |
|Received 28 Oct 2016; Revised 28 Oct 2016; Accepted 28 Oct 2016; In Press 19 Feb 2017 |