Barbara Sarnecka

The gathering held last June at a park in Irvine, California, was not a standard toga party. Instead of undergraduates downing beer from Solo cups, the attendees were graduate students drinking champagne from plastic jeweled goblets. Crowned with laurel wreaths, wearing togas and Roman-emperor costumes, they honored something that rarely gets commemorated: rejection. More than 100 rejections. Grants, journal articles, fellowships—you name it, they’d been denied it. This party was one component of a larger project devised by the [UCI] cognitive-science professor Barbara Sarnecka and two of her graduate students to change their experience of professional rejection.
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