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Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 53–72 | Cite as

Resolving Conflicts Among Self-Evaluative Motives: Positive Experiences as a Resource for Overcoming Defensiveness

  • Yaacov Trope
  • Eva M. Pomerantz
Article

Abstract

The present research investigates how undergoing a negative or positive experience subsequently influences feedback seeking regarding self-attributes varying in self-relevance. Participants were offered feedback from earlier testing regarding their assets or liabilities for attaining various personal goals (general life goals or specific careers). Overall, self-relevance of a goal increased interest in both assets- and liabilities-focused feedback regarding that goal. As predicted, however, the effect of self-relevance depended on whether participants initially failed or succeeded on an unrelated task. Specifically, after failure, the self-relevance of a goal was more likely to increase interest in assets-focused feedback than interest in liabilities-focused feedback. In contrast, after success, the self-relevance of a goal was equally or more likely to increase interest in liabilities-focused feedback than interest in assets-focused feedback. These results suggest that undergoing a positive or negative experience subsequently influences the relative weight of ego-defensive and self-assessment motives in feedback-seeking decisions.

Keywords

Social Psychology Specific Career Relative Weight Positive Experience Negative Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaacov Trope
    • 1
  • Eva M. Pomerantz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York University

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