What people say and do in response to negative feedback: Explaining and reducing defensiveness toward individual and group criticism (2007–2009)
Criticism serves an important function, in that it acts as a catalyst for growth and change. Criticism can bring unrecognized problems to light and lead to the reassessment of ill-adaptive behaviours and policies. However, it can also lead to hurt and denial. The proposed research will enable us to formulate, for the first time, an integrative account of how people respond to criticism, not just of their groups but also of themselves as individuals. This will not only represent significant progress in the theoretical understanding of responses to criticism, but will also have applied benefits in terms of promoting non-defensive communication, and in terms of maximizing our capacity to promote positive change in groups and individuals.