BEING EMOTIONAL AFTER A FAILURE IMPROVES POSITIVELY FUTURE DECISION-MAKING
Everyone had the opportunity to experience failures in his life. The reaction to failure is not always easy to manage, especially with the set of negative emotions that arise. People can respond and cope with failure in many ways, but often the answers rely on information processing mechanisms, a set of operations on nerve signals.
However, a study published on September 8, 2017 in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making explains that being emotional after failure helps you to positively improve the next time you are going to be faced with a decision-making.
In this study, researchers examine the potential benefits of relatively emotional (versus cognitive) responses to failure. More precisely: how much effort and time spent on subsequent tasks depend on people concentrating mainly on their emotions or knowledge when they respond to a failure?
FULLY LIVE EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO FAILURE
The emotional responses related to failure are more effective than cognitive responses ( cognitive processes ) to improve results when someone will tackle future related tasks. The results of this study suggest that it may be better to fight a little more the next time you fail a task.
Led by a marketing professor at the University of Kansas, the study found that emotional responses related to failure are more effective than cognitive processes to improve people’s outcomes for the next time they tackle at the next related task.
Understanding how performance differs when focusing on feelings versus thoughts, could really affect how people think about their failures, or how employers think about the failures of their employees.
Until then, scientific literature has focused more on types of thoughts or types of emotions, but this research focuses on the difference between a basic emotional and cognitive response.
Failure: Positive decision-making in the future
The researchers conducted three experiments in which undergraduate students were required to perform tasks. Students were invited to search for a specific product online and find the lowest price they could find with the opportunity to win a prize (prize) in cash. However, the price search task was rigged and a computer informed all participants that the lowest price was lower than what they found. None had the opportunity to obtain a lot in cash.
Some participants were asked to focus on emotions while they learned the results and others on their cognitive responses, such as streamlining the factors for which they did not succeed. In the next similar task, participants who focused on their emotional response to failure exerted more effort than those who emphasized a cognitive response.
LEAN TOWARDS NEGATIVE EMOTIONS FOR FAILURE TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
To let go to his negative emotions with regard to a failure to improve his performance more than to think about this failure in some cases would be more positive. Types of thoughts, such as rationalizing a failure, push people to a generally counterproductive tendency.
The simple conclusions of this study indicate that accepting to feel bad or even focusing on negative emotions after a failure will help to guide future decision-making in a positive way, at least if the task is similar to that that you have failed before.
The researchers point out that ” these findings are useful to consumers themselves, to employers, to teachers, or to anyone involved in managing failure in decision-making. Someone like a manager or a teacher would be able to guide employees and students on how they respond to failure, hoping to improve how the next decision will be made.
Finally, future research may focus on separating specific types of emotions and thoughts, as specific emotions may be more effective than others, and certain types of thoughts may injure or assist more that others.
Another good news is that the results are easily applicable to people who practice self-motivating techniques. A natural tendency after failure is sometimes to suppress emotions and cognitively rationalize failure, but if people know the possible negative effects of this behavior they can cancel this natural tendency and focus on negative feelings. “This should lead to learning and future decision making in a positive way,” the researchers conclude.