Navigation Links
Carnegie Mellon Research shows self-affirmation improves problem-solving under stress
Date:5/3/2013

PITTSBURGHIt's no secret that stress increases your susceptibility to health problems, and it also impacts your ability to solve problems and be creative. But methods to prevent associated risks and effects have been less clear until now.

Published in PLOS ONE, new research from Carnegie Mellon University provides the first evidence that self-affirmation can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance. Understanding that self-affirmation the process of identifying and focusing on one's most important values boosts stressed individuals' problem-solving abilities will help guide future research and the development of educational interventions.

"An emerging set of published studies suggest that a brief self-affirmation activity at the beginning of a school term can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming kids at the end of the semester. This new work suggests a mechanism for these studies, showing self-affirmation effects on actual problem-solving performance under pressure," said J. David Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Because previous research indicated that self-affirmation may be an effective stress management approach, Creswell and his research team had college students rank-order a set of values (e.g., art, business, family and friends) in terms of their personal importance, and indicate their levels of chronic stress. Participants randomly assigned to a self-affirmation condition were asked to write a couple of sentences about why their number one ranked value was important (a standard self-affirmation exercise). All participants then had to complete a challenging problem-solving task under time pressure, which required creativity in order to generate correct solutions.

The results showed that participants who were under high levels of chronic stress during the past month had impaired problem-solving performance. In fact, they solved about 50 percent fewer problems in the task. But notably, this effect was qualified by whether participants had an opportunity to first complete the self-affirmation activity. Specifically, a brief self-affirmation was effective in eliminating the deleterious effects of chronic stress on problem-solving performance, such that chronically stressed self-affirmed participants performed under pressure at the same level as participants with low chronic stress levels.

"People under high stress can foster better problem-solving simply by taking a moment beforehand to think about something that is important to them," Creswell said. "It's an easy-to-use and portable strategy you can roll out before you enter that high pressure performance situation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Carnegie Mellons Marcel Just to receive Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award
2. Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults, Carnegie Mellon study shows
3. New Carnegie Mellon research reveals exactly how the human brain adapts to injury
4. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
5. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
6. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
7. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
8. Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: UBC research
9. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
10. LSUHSC research finds HPV-related head & neck cancers rising, highest in middle-aged white men
11. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... , ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the ... patients. , But how often do ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use ... or with early symptoms of AMD? A study published recently in Dove ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Military Connection friend ... entry to the JFK Virgin Atlantic lounge. , Bensko is no stranger to ... years ago, Bensko dedicated her life to supporting our wounded veterans. A world-class photographer, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Aesthetic Channel has recently highlighted ... has come up with a proprietary technique that he calls the AuraLyft ... dropped. For all ages, patients can expect to look refreshed, rejuvenated, and revitalized. ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... 21 Middle East and South Asia Leaders Selected as Eisenhower ... business and civil society in 11 countries across the Middle East and South Asia ... transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their fields. ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ross Insurance ... With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recent update of flood zones, more ... 2012, the Biggert-Waters Act was enacted to reflect the actual risk in flood ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/7/2017)... URBANDALE, Iowa , June 6, 2017  Diplomat Specialty Infusion ... a sterile compounding environment to its Iowa ... Urbandale now features an ISO 7 cleanroom—the ... a controlled environment with a low level of pollutants. ... serve more IV nutrition consumers and better serve our ...
(Date:6/1/2017)... , June 1, 2017 Nutriceutical Holdings ... Veterinarian Recommended Solutions (VRS), and KD Pharma Group have ... Nutriceutical Holdings by KD Pharma Group. KD Pharma Group ... the option to acquire the entire company. ... KD. They are committed to growing the NH companies ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , May 26, 2017  Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... President and CEO, will represent the Company in a fireside ... Conference on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 10:40 a.m. PT ... Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. ... the event will be available on the Company,s website at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: