Research article

How Do People Evaluate Themselves in Terms of Assertiveness and Ability After Having Failed or Succeeded: The (Economic) Consequences Matter!



Relying on the Big Two framework (Abele et al., 2016,2021) and the distinction of agency into the facets of assertiveness and ability, three experimental studies address the hypothesis that assertiveness and ability are influenced differentially by the consequences of success or failure. In Studies 1 and 2, participants had to imagine presenting a product developed by a hospital to an audience while either knowing or not knowing that selling the product could have strong positive consequences for the hospital’s budget. They further had to imagine that they had succeeded in positively presenting the product or that they had failed. Study 2 replicated the design with the participants enacting the task for real. Supporting our hypotheses, we consistently found that self-evaluation of assertiveness was higher with both success and knowledge about the economic consequences, whereas self-evaluation of ability was higher with success but without knowledge of economic consequences. These findings support the facet approach of the agency dimension and give hints on how the assertiveness versus ability facets of self-evaluation differ.


agencyassertivenessabilityconsequences of success or failure
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 17
  • DOI: 10.5334/irsp.692
  • Submitted on 1 Feb 2022
  • Accepted on 14 Jul 2022
  • Published on 3 Oct 2022
  • Peer Reviewed