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Transcript of Failure
I originally was thinking of having jealousy as a topic one day after a track meet but then someone suggested failure. The concept of how different people have different ideas of failure interested me. Definition of failure: The inability to perform a duty or expected action. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt) What is considered as failure differs among individuals and what one makes of failure has to do with the extent to which he or she internalizes it. The extent to which one attributes the act of failure to his or her self relates to the type of praise received throughout childhood. In particular, theorists have distinguished between: process praise—praise directed at a child’s behavior (e.g. effort) person praise—praise directed at a child’s personal qualities (e.g., ability) Person praise is like telling a child that she is smart when she receives a good grade.
Process praise is like, in the same situation, telling the child that she must have worked hard.
Research has shown that when children later make a mistake on the same academic task, those who were praised for ability experience a more negative affect and evaluate themselves more negatively. So when a child fails, they don’t believe that they are smart anymore as opposed to the alternative (process praise) in such they set out to try harder to succeed at the next task without letting the failure define their overall intelligence. Parents tend to give children with self esteem issues an abundance of person praise because telling a person who is insecure who they are is good, right?
Actually, person praise has an adverse affect on such individuals. Children with low self-esteem are easily triggered to focus their attention on themselves. In addition, individuals with low self-esteem:
Are quick to infer that others’ regard is conditional upon their achievements.
Are afraid of losing others’ regard.
For example, they often try to hide their weaknesses, avoid making mistakes, and seek reassurance from others. Person praise is likely to be internalized by children who have low self esteem but as something they fear to lose. Therefore, fear of failure is bound to cause them to avoid situations in which they will lose their personal worth or value. My sophomore year, I was placed in an algebra class taught by a teacher who, throughout the year, gave invariably difficult tests and quizzes. Within the first week of that class, about a fifth of that class switched out of that class.
The class consisted of mostly juniors who had failed that class already with the exception of two first time sophomores including me. I worked hard to bring my grade into the low eighties and high to mid seventies each quarter which did not live up to my dad’s expectations. However, I was proud of it and didn't mind when he commented on it.
With process praise, achievement is not defined by how talented a child is but instead by how hard they work for it. The Dualistic model of passion suggests: individuals can be highly committed to the same extent toward an activity and yet pursue their activity in qualitatively different ways, with a variety of different consequences.
There are two types of passion that highly committed individuals can possess. Harmonious passion- the person is in control of the activity and may decide whether or not to engage and pursue it. This type of passion can be described as being “in harmony” with other aspects of one’s life. The individual does not define his or her self by a singular activity so, in return, they do not feel threatened by the possibility of failure. Obsessive passion- The activity overwhelms one’s attention and identity. The activity is beyond one’s control and the individual feels pressured to pursue it continuously.This type of engagement creates a rigid participation in the activity.
As a consequence, obsessive passion leads to several self-regulatory challenges:
(a) Conflicts and tensions arise with other life domains, which increase one’s vigilance.
(b) because “all the eggs are in the same basket,” everything revolves around the activity (self-esteem, social acceptance), and obsessive passion is associated with defensiveness and susceptibility to threat. Can you recall a time when you have either received or have given process praise or person praise?
Which type of praise do you favor based on these experiences? My passion for running has changed over the course of four years. during my fist few years of high school, I had obsessive passion for running and for about the last few years, my obsessive passion turned into harmonious passion. Everyone falls somewhere on the obsessive compulsive spectrum. my explanation for my obsessive passion in running was that I lacked other things in my life that I felt motivated in such as classes. For the most part, it was easy for me to get through most classes with low eighties or high seventies. My sophomore year English class was particularly interesting to me because of the memoirs we read and it proved to be a turning point for me. The grade I received in that English class landed me in my first honors class. From then on, I became more motivated in school because the faster paced classes were more engaging than my old ones. Track was no longer the only thing that I could be proud of in school. therefore, it became a choice rather than a way of life. What is passion? Definition: Striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same. Competition is based upon comparison and the struggle to achieve the better position.
There are two different types of comparison that effect one's level of competition and perseverance. Upward Comparison: Comparing ones self to someone of higher achievement or ability.
Downward comparison: Comparing ones self to someone of lower achievement or ability. One of the best examples of failure in the light of competition is class rank. It shows no mercy to those who differ only by fractions or to those who devout time to extracurricular activities in addition to high level classes. To those students who measure failure by comparing themselves to others, class ranking can be really demoralizing if they don't make the cut. However, it can also be a good form of motivation for students who wish to achieve academic prestige. Upward comparisons are not always destructive to one’s self esteem. they are beneficial when one internalizes the success of others as a personal goal.
Researchers, Marsh and Parker (1984), discovered that, although students attending high ability schools had lower academic self-concepts than those attending low ability schools, they also had higher academic achievement than those attending the low ability schools. Therefore upward comparison can be a source of motivation. What determines whether or not upward comparison is beneficial to someone? Answer: A sense of control or, in other words, awareness of one’s ability to change what is considered unfavorable. For individuals who feel that they have control over a situation, exposure to upward comparison information is likely to motivate behavior while causing little affective distress. In contrast, for individuals who feel that a negative outcome cannot be changed (i.e., that it is out of their control), exposure to upward comparison information is likely to be both effectively distressing and behaviorally debilitating, exacerbating tendencies toward learned helplessness. "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." (Steve Jobs) Failure is only as big as you make it. Steven Spielberg is an extremely successful film maker. His famous works include, but are not limited to: Jaws (1975); Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977); ET (1982); The Color Purple (1985); Back to the Future (1985); the Indiana Jones films; Hook (1991); and Jurassic Park (1993). He won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler's List (1993) and for Saving Private Ryan (1998). At age 60, Steven Spielberg was diagnosed with Dyslexia, a condition with which he had lived his entire life.
Dyslexia is a language-based disability that affects both oral and written language. It may also be referred to as reading disability, reading difference, or reading disorder.