Depression and Preference for Self-Focusing Stimuli After Success and Failure

Tom Pyszczynski, Jeff L Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Depressed individuals, who tend to have large perceived-self/ideal-self discrepancies, have been shown to be particularly high in private self-consciousness. On the bases of this finding and of several converging theoretical perspectives, we hypothesized that depressives, unlike nondepressives, do not find self-focus more aversive after failure than after success, and thus either (a) show no differential preference for self-focusing stimuli after success versus after failure (weak hypothesis), or (b) prefer self-focusing stimuli after failure over self-focusing stimuli after success (strong hypothesis). Depressed and nondepressed college students succeeded or failed on a supposed test of verbal intelligence, and then worked on two sets of puzzles, one in the presence and one in the absence of a self-focusing stimulus (mirror). Whereas nondepressed subjects liked the mirror-associated puzzle more after success than after failure, depressed subjects did not; depressed subjects tended to like the mirror-associated puzzle more after failure than after success. Nondepressed subjects also exhibited a self-serving pattern of attributions, viewing the test as less valid and luck as more responsible for their performance after failure than after success; depressed subjects showed no such differences. In consistency with their failure to use defensive strategies, depressed subjects showed a decrease in self-esteem after failure; nondepressed subjects showed no such change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1066-1075
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1985

Fingerprint

Intelligence Tests
Ego
Consciousness
Self Concept
stimulus
Depression
Students
attribution
self-esteem
consciousness
intelligence
performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Depression and Preference for Self-Focusing Stimuli After Success and Failure. / Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff L.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 49, No. 4, 10.1985, p. 1066-1075.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{0755d1ea02214d65bec1ce37b6f2cd07,
title = "Depression and Preference for Self-Focusing Stimuli After Success and Failure",
abstract = "Depressed individuals, who tend to have large perceived-self/ideal-self discrepancies, have been shown to be particularly high in private self-consciousness. On the bases of this finding and of several converging theoretical perspectives, we hypothesized that depressives, unlike nondepressives, do not find self-focus more aversive after failure than after success, and thus either (a) show no differential preference for self-focusing stimuli after success versus after failure (weak hypothesis), or (b) prefer self-focusing stimuli after failure over self-focusing stimuli after success (strong hypothesis). Depressed and nondepressed college students succeeded or failed on a supposed test of verbal intelligence, and then worked on two sets of puzzles, one in the presence and one in the absence of a self-focusing stimulus (mirror). Whereas nondepressed subjects liked the mirror-associated puzzle more after success than after failure, depressed subjects did not; depressed subjects tended to like the mirror-associated puzzle more after failure than after success. Nondepressed subjects also exhibited a self-serving pattern of attributions, viewing the test as less valid and luck as more responsible for their performance after failure than after success; depressed subjects showed no such differences. In consistency with their failure to use defensive strategies, depressed subjects showed a decrease in self-esteem after failure; nondepressed subjects showed no such change.",
author = "Tom Pyszczynski and Greenberg, {Jeff L}",
year = "1985",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1037/0022-3514.49.4.1066",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "49",
pages = "1066--1075",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Depression and Preference for Self-Focusing Stimuli After Success and Failure

AU - Pyszczynski, Tom

AU - Greenberg, Jeff L

PY - 1985/10

Y1 - 1985/10

N2 - Depressed individuals, who tend to have large perceived-self/ideal-self discrepancies, have been shown to be particularly high in private self-consciousness. On the bases of this finding and of several converging theoretical perspectives, we hypothesized that depressives, unlike nondepressives, do not find self-focus more aversive after failure than after success, and thus either (a) show no differential preference for self-focusing stimuli after success versus after failure (weak hypothesis), or (b) prefer self-focusing stimuli after failure over self-focusing stimuli after success (strong hypothesis). Depressed and nondepressed college students succeeded or failed on a supposed test of verbal intelligence, and then worked on two sets of puzzles, one in the presence and one in the absence of a self-focusing stimulus (mirror). Whereas nondepressed subjects liked the mirror-associated puzzle more after success than after failure, depressed subjects did not; depressed subjects tended to like the mirror-associated puzzle more after failure than after success. Nondepressed subjects also exhibited a self-serving pattern of attributions, viewing the test as less valid and luck as more responsible for their performance after failure than after success; depressed subjects showed no such differences. In consistency with their failure to use defensive strategies, depressed subjects showed a decrease in self-esteem after failure; nondepressed subjects showed no such change.

AB - Depressed individuals, who tend to have large perceived-self/ideal-self discrepancies, have been shown to be particularly high in private self-consciousness. On the bases of this finding and of several converging theoretical perspectives, we hypothesized that depressives, unlike nondepressives, do not find self-focus more aversive after failure than after success, and thus either (a) show no differential preference for self-focusing stimuli after success versus after failure (weak hypothesis), or (b) prefer self-focusing stimuli after failure over self-focusing stimuli after success (strong hypothesis). Depressed and nondepressed college students succeeded or failed on a supposed test of verbal intelligence, and then worked on two sets of puzzles, one in the presence and one in the absence of a self-focusing stimulus (mirror). Whereas nondepressed subjects liked the mirror-associated puzzle more after success than after failure, depressed subjects did not; depressed subjects tended to like the mirror-associated puzzle more after failure than after success. Nondepressed subjects also exhibited a self-serving pattern of attributions, viewing the test as less valid and luck as more responsible for their performance after failure than after success; depressed subjects showed no such differences. In consistency with their failure to use defensive strategies, depressed subjects showed a decrease in self-esteem after failure; nondepressed subjects showed no such change.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0022133232&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0022133232&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/0022-3514.49.4.1066

DO - 10.1037/0022-3514.49.4.1066

M3 - Article

C2 - 4057045

AN - SCOPUS:0022133232

VL - 49

SP - 1066

EP - 1075

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 4

ER -