Mindset effects on information search in self-evaluation



Research on mindset theory (Gollwitzer & Bayer, 1999) observed that people in an implemental mindset show an orientation towards positive illusionary self-evaluations, whereas people in a deliberative mindset opt for accurate self-evaluations. In the present study, we tested whether these self-evaluative orientations and the associated search for certain types of self-relevant information (feedback) are moderated by low versus high self-views. With high self-view participants we observed the hypothesized mindset effects on information search, but we obtained the reverse pattern for low self-view participants. The latter finding points to self-defensiveness in low self-view individuals. Implications are discussed in terms of the consequences of accurate versus positive illusionary self-evaluations for the successful control of goal pursuits, and individual differences in mindset effects. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.