Perceptions of defeat have been linked to a range of clinical disorders including psychosis. Perceived defeat sometimes increases in response to failure, but the strength of this association varies between individuals. The present research investigated whether trait reappraisal, a thought-focused coping style, amplified response to stressful events. Two studies (Study 1, n = 120 nonclinical participants; Study 2, n = 77 participants with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders) investigated whether trait reappraisal amplified feelings of defeat following an experience of failure versus success. Frequent reappraisers showed the largest increases in subjective defeat after failure versus success in both studies, with nonclinical participants with greater habitual reappraisal also showing larger increases in sadness and general negative affect. Frequent use of reappraisal may confer vulnerability to subjective defeat in response to stressful life events among nonclinical and clinical populations and could be an area for relapse prevention interventions to target.