Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e62593. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062593. Print 2013.

Self-affirmation improves problem-solving under stress.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. creswell@cmu.edu

Abstract

High levels of acute and chronic stress are known to impair problem-solving and creativity on a broad range of tasks. Despite this evidence, we know little about protective factors for mitigating the deleterious effects of stress on problem-solving. Building on previous research showing that self-affirmation can buffer stress, we tested whether an experimental manipulation of self-affirmation improves problem-solving performance in chronically stressed participants. Eighty undergraduates indicated their perceived chronic stress over the previous month and were randomly assigned to either a self-affirmation or control condition. They then completed 30 difficult remote associate problem-solving items under time pressure in front of an evaluator. Results showed that self-affirmation improved problem-solving performance in underperforming chronically stressed individuals. This research suggests a novel means for boosting problem-solving under stress and may have important implications for understanding how self-affirmation boosts academic achievement in school settings.

PMID:
23658751
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3641050
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk