The effect of self-criticism on working memory in females following success and failure

Niloufar Lueke, Reid Skeel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Maladaptive self-criticism has been associated with diminished goal-progress. The present study examined the impact of failure and success experiences on performance on working memory measures, in order to gauge goal-directed performance. Participants with varying levels of self-criticism completed a baseline working memory task, a randomly assigned success or failure feedback manipulation on a separate task, followed by a second working memory measure. Results demonstrated varying feedback-dependent test-retest performance across levels of self-criticism. While low self-critics did not differ in test-retest scores across feedback conditions, failure resulted in a decrease of performance in moderate self-critics, and an increased performance in high self-critics. Conversely, after success, moderate self-critics displayed an increase, while high self-critics displayed a decrease in performance at retest. Findings shed light on varying perceptions and responses to failure versus success across levels of self-criticism, which has important implications for factors that impact motivation and goal-directed performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Failure
  • Feedback
  • Goal-progress
  • Self-criticism
  • Success
  • Working memory


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