Success and Failure

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According to research at Penn State and Australia's Central Queensland University the amount of pride or shame after a competence-based task can be effected by the person's goals at the start of the task.(news.psu) If a person has the goal to outperform another person and they succeed the amount of pride which they will feel is amplified compared to when they were not competing against another person. However this is the same for shame and failure. The study also found that the amount of pride or shame a person feels after the task can determine if the person will continue with the task or instead drop out of it. The effect of either pride or shame can then effect how a person later performs in the task. When a person feels pride it gives them a boost to their confidence, persistence, and problem-solving ability, which when all combined can allow a person to perform at their absolute best.(news.psu)  But it can have the inverse result when the person feels shameful. The researchers also found that it can be more beneficial for a person to focus on what they can achieve rather than how they may fail. (news.psu)

Knowing how pride and shame can effect your future performance can be a very beneficial thing to understand. Knowing that if you feel poorly about how you performed at a task in the past could cause you to perform worse in the future could allow you to change how you feel. This study gives some good advice about how focusing on what you could achieve could improve your performance rather than focusing on any shame you may feel. The difference between how you feel after success and failure is something we can all understand. After succeeding at a task you thought you would fail at you feel like you could accomplish so much more. This study mainly focuses only on the feelings of the individual but there may also be third variables affecting how people feel after failure. The expectations of other people often change how we feel we should perform at a task. These expectations could increase the amount of success or shame that a person feels. It is however undeniable that success or failure can influence future performance.

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I definitely agree with this blog post's analysis of why and how we feel success and failure. There was no study or experiment mentioned in this article, but there are so many third variables that would affect a study performed about human's emotional reactions to success and failure. Humans can be very analytical, and when we succeed or fail we tend to analyze all of the factors that led to our result. One factor not mentioned in this article that would have a significant impact on a study on this topic is how each person measures the competition, or how each person judges his/her performance compared to everyone else.

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