Success and Failure Influences Hopeful Thinking in Polish Women and Men Differently

Keywords: state hope, goal-pursuit, sex differences


In Snyder’ theory the construct of hope is central to successful goal attainment. The present studies aimed to examine whether the experience of success versus failure in goal pursuits influence state hope, as was found in previous research. In Study 1, the participants completed a scale assessing current hopeful thoughts, and recall and describe successful, or unsuccessful goal pursuits. Then they again completed the state hope scale. In Study 2, the participants were instructed to complete two measures, assessing current hopeful thinking, and self-esteem. Then, they performed anagram tasks—representing easy, mixed, or difficult levels of difficulty, in which they respectively succeed, perform neutrally, or fail, or were assigned to control condition (the participants were sitting only). Next, they filled in the same two scales. In Study 1, state hope increased in the respondents who recalled successful goal pursuits, and decreased in those who recalled unsuccessful goal pursuits. However, this effect was moderated by gender: thinking about success increases state hope only in men, whereas thinking about failures decreases state hope just in women. In Study 2, those who experience failure experienced a decrease in state hope. However, such an effect was found only in women.


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