Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Volume 33 Issue 5 (September 2019), Pages 729-979

Working memory of highly self‐critical men is impaired by failure (pages 958-963)

Summary Previous studies have shown self‐criticism to be negatively associated with goal progress. In order to investigate factors that may influence this association, the present study examined the interactive impact of performance (failure vs. success) and self‐criticism on working memory (WM). Goal‐directed behavior in the achievement domain was operationalized as comparative performance on two strongly correlated WM span tasks. The effect of negative or positive performance feedback was assessed by presenting a success or a failure experience between the two WM span tasks in order to examine the influence of failure and success on the second WM span task compared with the first/baseline. A male‐only sample was used as a follow‐up to a previous study that has utilized a female‐only sample. Findings revealed self‐criticism to serve as an individual difference factor that influences men's WM functioning in the context of failure. This interactive effect may contribute to diminished goal progress in men.

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