Social Pursuit of Academics: Side Effects and Spillover of Strategic Reassurance Seeking

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Using both experience sampling and questionnaire data, this study examined a group of women who were focused on outcomes in their academic work as they attempted to handle setbacks in academics and pursue social activities at the same time. Consistent with their heightened concern with academic outcomes, they addressed academic concerns in the company of friends following negative academic events and sought reassurance when things were not going well academically. This spillover of academic concerns into the social domain allowed social satisfaction to become contingent on academic events. This linking of social life to the relatively more difficult domain of academics was associated with considerably lower social life satisfaction over the course of a college semester, suggesting unintended social costs of their academic reassurance-seeking strategy.

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