Effects of Unconditional Self-Construal on Vigilance and Performance: the Role of 'Positive Glow'

Timothy Poore : Psychology

Mentor: Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Psychology

Tim’s study, which will become his senior honors thesis in Psychology, will test the hypothesis that being in a state of “positive glow”—as a result of unconditional self-construal—will lead to a decrease in vigilance, hindering performance, and in turn, causing a person to be more susceptible to negative feelings following a subsequent failure. Much research has focused on positive aspects of experiencing “positive glow,” which is a state in which a person’s happiness, confidence, and internal positivity are maximized. One psychological mechanism that contributes to this “positive glow” is the way in which people construe self-relevant events. The construal of self-relevant events in global, unconditional terms (e.g. “I am a great student”), has been shown to result in greater shifts in affect (both positive and negative depending on the situation) than construing events in more circumscribed, contextualized terms (e.g. “I am great when I study hard”).