Feeling proud is associated with feelings of confidence, accomplishment, and self-worth so has obvious functions.
But researchers wanted to examine if these feelings could lead on to actual improvements in success levels in two particular areas: athletic and academic.
“When high authentic pride is experienced, individuals should respond with plans to behave similarly in the future, whereas low authentic pride should result in plans to behave differently, in an effort to improve performance”
Specifically the researchers predicted that low levels of pride would prompts a change in behaviour and lead to increased levels of effort.
The researchers completed 2 experiments in order to consider pride over the two areas:
Tested hypotheses in an athletic achievement domain, by assessing individuals’ feelings of authentic pride in response to progress in training for long distance running races, and then assessing their corresponding plans for future training change.
While study 2:
Assessed individuals’ feelings of authentic pride following an achievement exam, their subsequent plans for behavioural change and actual subsequent studying behaviours, and actual changes in their performance on subsequent achievement exams.
Once the research team collated the data they found that feeling pride did provoke a shift in achievement outcomes.
Those who performed well, felt greater pride whereas those who felt low levels of pride responded by changing their levels of effort.
We found that pride-driven behavioral changes led to improved future performance among low performers.
The researchers concluded by confirming that pride functions as a barometer of achievement that promotes behavioural changes that lead to improved performance.