Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Psychology (PSYC)

First Advisor

Ricardo Arturo Machón, Ph.D.


In the personal life of Americans, failure tends to be an avoided experience. Failures tend to discourage Americans from persevering in the failed activity. What is interesting, however, is that East Asian cultures tend to respond differently to failure than Americans. Rather than quitting the failed activity altogether, East Asians tend to persevere in their failures in order to satisfy roles within groups. With this being said, the researcher and collaborators hoped to investigate failure's ability to incur success in individuals. Using a clinician's personal meditation of failure as a template, the researcher and collaborators created an interview procedure create case study investigations of failure narratives. Additionally, a framework of Ignatian Spirituality helped evaluate if failure could be developed as a transformative experience in each case. Using a case study methodology involving interviews of intimate friends/family, the researcher and collaborators recorded in-depth narratives of past personal failures. Respondents who view their past failures as significant to their contemporary success will view their failures as learning experiences. Results: Each case study examined by the researchers exhibited narratives that demonstrated failures as contributors to personal success. Future studies should move beyond case studies and examine how individuals may adapt cognitively to failure in a manner similar to the respondents of this study.