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When Failure Hurts the Most: Goal Fusion and the Impact of Negative Feedback on Self-concept Clarity

Curtis, Jessica Marie
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of negative feedback on self-concept clarity. The potential moderating effect of goal fusion was also explored. Participants completed the Goal Fusion questionnaire in regards to the goal to learn psychology. After completing a 20 minute analytical questionnaire, participants were given false feedback about their performance. Finally, participants completed a series of questionnaires that included measures of self-concept clarity, identity disturbance, and major/career clarity. Demographics were recorded at the end of the study. It was found that individuals who were more fused with the goal to learn psychology and received successful feedback from their analytical questionnaire reported a clearer self-concept clarity than individuals at the same fusion level who received failure feedback. In conclusion, research on the self-concept has not yet investigated the potential influence of Goal Fusion. The present study was thus designed to provide a first step in addressing this crucial gap in the literature.