Rational Versus Experiential Processing of Negative Feedback Reduces Defensiveness but Induces Ego Depletion Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015, 2014 Taylor & Francis. Three experiments compared the effects of engaging a more rational versus more experiential processing mode following self-relevant negative feedback. Participants in each experiment were encouraged to process negative feedback about their social skills in a more rational versus more experiential mode before completing a mood measure (Experiment 1), a disguised measure of self-enhancement tendencies (Experiment 2), and a behavioral test of self-control (Experiment 3), respectively. Compared to experiential processing, more rational processing of negative feedback reduced negative mood and self-enhancement tendencies but increased the likelihood of self-control failure. Together, these findings suggest that processing negative feedback in a more rational processing mode helps to dispel threats to self-regard but exacts a cost in the form of a temporary depletion of self-control strength.

published proceedings

  • Self and Identity

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Schmeichel, B. J., Caskey, R., & Hicks, J. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Schmeichel, Brandon J||Caskey, Ryan||Hicks, Joshua A

publication date

  • August 2014