Cognitive Processes in Response to Goal Failure: A Study of Ruminative Thought and its Affective Consequences.

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2013-05-01

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Abstract

Failure to make progress toward personal goals can lead to negative affective states, such as depression and anxiety. Past research suggests that rumination in response to goal failure may prolong and intensify those acute emotional responses, but that process remains unclear. We examined ruminative thought processes following experimentally manipulated exposure to past failures to attain advancement (promotion) goals and safety (prevention) goals. We predicted that priming of past promotion and prevention goal failures would lead individuals to think repetitively about these failures and that negative affect would be evoked by their recognition of their failures. Further, we predicted that when people experience a sufficient magnitude of negative affect, ruminative thought would intensify and prolong the negative affect associated with that type of goal failure. Results yielded strong support for our predictions regarding promotion goal failure and modest support for those regarding prevention goal failure.

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10.1521/jscp.2013.32.5.482

Publication Info

Jones, NP, AA Papadakis, CA Orr and TJ Strauman (2013). Cognitive Processes in Response to Goal Failure: A Study of Ruminative Thought and its Affective Consequences. J Soc Clin Psychol, 32(5). 10.1521/jscp.2013.32.5.482 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13851.

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Strauman

Timothy J. Strauman

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

FOR POTENTIAL STUDENTS (fall 2024 class): 

Dr. Timothy Strauman and Dr. Ann Brewster will be seeking to admit a student for Fall 2024 who will be an important member of their collaborative projects. Dr. Brewster is an intervention scientist and a faculty member in Duke’s Social Science Research Institute. The collaborative projects focus on creating, testing, and implementing school-based therapeutic and preventive interventions for adolescents at risk for negative academic and mental health outcomes. We are partnering with the Durham Public Schools as well as with other local school districts, and Dr. Brewster has extensive experience and expertise in developing the partnerships, working with community members, and the intervention process itself. We are especially interested in applicants with experience in community-based interventions, with interests in adolescence, and with knowledge and experience working with both behavioral and neuroimaging data.



Professor Strauman's research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes that enable self-regulation, conceptualized in terms of a cognitive/motivational perspective, as well as the relation between self-regulation and affect. Particular areas of emphasis include: (1) conceptualizing self-regulation in terms of brain/behavior motivational systems; (2) the role of self-regulatory cognitive processes in vulnerability to depression and other disorders; (3) the impact of treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and medication, on self-regulatory function and dysfunction in depression; (4) how normative and non-normative socialization patterns influence the development of self-regulatory systems; (5) the contributory roles of self-regulation, affect, and psychopathology in determining immunologically-mediated susceptibility to illness; (6) development of novel multi-component treatments for depression targeting self-regulatory dysfunction; (7) utilization of brain imaging techniques to test hypotheses concerning self-regulation, including the nature and function of hypothetical regulatory systems and characterizing the breakdowns in self-regulation that lead to and accompany depression.

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