Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicología del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

  • Director: Laura E. Gómez Sánchez
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  • ISSN: 0214-9915
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Defensive pessimism, self-esteem and achievement goals: A person-centered approach

María del Mar Ferradás Canedo, Carlos Freire Rodríguez, Bibiana Regueiro Fernández, and Antonio Valle Arias

Grupo de Investigación en Psicología Educativa (GIPED) Universidade da Coruña

Background: The relationship between defensive pessimism, self-esteem, and achievement goals is a controversial issue. The main contribution of this research is the adoption of a person-centered approach to explore the existence of differentiated profiles of university students, which combine self-esteem and defensive pessimism. In addition, we analyze whether these profiles differ in their achievement goals (learning, performance-approach, performance-avoidance, and work-avoidance). Method: 1,028 university students took part in the study. Results: Four student profiles were identified: (a) HSE/MDP (high self-esteem and moderate defensive pessimism); (b) LSE/LDP (low self-esteem and low defensive pessimism); (c) HSE/LDP (high self-esteem and low defensive pessimism); and (d) LSE/HDP (low self-esteem and high defensive pessimism). These four profiles differ significantly in their achievement goals. Conclusions: The use of defensive pessimism may involve students with either low or high self-esteem, although the two profiles follow differentiated motivational achievement trajectories.

Pesimismo defensivo, autoestima y metas de logro: un enfoque centrado en la persona. Antecedentes: la relación entre el pesimismo defensivo, la autoestima y las metas de logro constituye una cuestión controvertida. La principal aportación del presente trabajo es la adopción de un enfoque centrado en la persona para explorar la existencia de perfiles diferenciados de estudiantes universitarios que combinen la autoestima y el pesimismo defensivo. Asimismo, se pretende analizar si dichos perfiles se diferencian en sus metas de logro (aprendizaje, aproximación al rendimiento, evitación del rendimiento y evitación del trabajo). Método: 1.028 estudiantes universitarios formaron parte del estudio. Resultados: se identificaron cuatro perfiles de estudiantes: (a) HSE/MDP (alta autoestima y moderado pesimismo defensivo); (b) LSE/LDP (baja autoestima y bajo pesimismo defensivo); (c) HSE/LDP (alta autoestima y bajo pesimismo defensivo); y (d) LSE/HDP (baja autoestima y alto pesimismo defensivo). Estos cuatro perfiles se diferencian significativamente en las metas de logro que adoptan. Conclusiones: la utilización del pesimismo defensivo puede implicar a estudiantes con baja y alta autoestima, aunque ambos perfiles siguen trayectorias motivacionales de logro diferenciadas.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)