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Implications of manipulating anticipatory attributions on the strategy use of defensive pessimists and strategic optimists

Citation

Thompson, T and Le Fevre, CH, Implications of manipulating anticipatory attributions on the strategy use of defensive pessimists and strategic optimists, Personality and Individual Differences, 26, (5) pp. 887-904. ISSN 0191-8869 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(98)00190-1

Abstract

Defensive pessimists (DPs) are individuals who acknowledge prior success in achievement contexts, yet typically enter new achievement situations with unrealistically low expectations and ruminate about possible outcomes. On the other hand, strategic optimists (SOs) set high expectations for their performance and avoid reflecting extensively on an upcoming task. This study tested the assumption that the strategy use of DPs and SOs is activated in situations in which failure is likely to be diagnostic of low ability, but obviated in situations where a face-saving excuse is available to explain poor performance. Following humiliating failure, DPs and SOs performed better than following failure which involved face-saving. Provision of a face-saving excuse not only reduced anxiety for both DPs and SOs, but also reduced cognitive interference and was associated with greater perceived control. Prima facie, these data support the interpretation that the strategy use of DPs and SOs is activated or otherwise on the basis of anticipated attributions for poor performance. © 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Personality, Abilities and Assessment
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Author:Thompson, T (Dr Ted Thompson)
Author:Le Fevre, CH (Mrs Cassie le Fevre)
ID Code:17447
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2000-05-13
Downloads:0

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