Systematic Reflection: Implications for Learning From Failures and Successes

Shmuel Ellis, Bernd Carette, Frederik Anseel, Filip Lievens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on a growing stream of empirical findings that runs across different psychological domains, we demonstrated
that systematic reflection stands out as a prominent tool for learning from experience. For decades, failed experiences
have been considered the most powerful learning sources. Despite the theoretical and practical relevance, few researchers
have investigated whether people can also learn from their successes. We showed that through systematic reflection,
people can learn from both their successes and their failures. Studies have further shown that the effectiveness of
systematic reflection depends on situational (e.g., reflection focus) and person-based (e.g., conscientiousness) factors.
Given today’s unrelenting pace and the abundance of activities in which people are involved, future researchers may
want to investigate how to effectively integrate systematic reflection within the busy daily environment of the learner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


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