Driven by fear: The effect of success and failure information on passionate individuals' performance

Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Marc André K. Lafrenière, Robert J. Vallerand, Arie W. Kruglanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Four studies investigated the impact of success and failure information on passionate individuals' performance. Obsessive passion, characterized by a rigid and defensive mode of functioning, predicted greater performance in domains both related and unrelated to the passionate activity in response to exposure to failure information. Conversely, harmonious passion, characterized by a flexible, nondefensive mode of functioning, was found to be unaffected by success or failure information. These performance effects were deeply ingrained, did not require conscious thought, and were automatically activated after unconscious exposure to failure-related words. In addition, the present research evinced that following failure information, obsessive passion predicted increases of performance through its effect on fear of failure. However, performance augmented only when the performance task was framed in such a way that failure would entail important negative consequences for the self and not when framed as inconsequential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Achievement motives
  • Failure
  • Passion
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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