Visualization on how self handicapping can lead

Overview[ edit ] What is self-handicapping? However the extent and nature of the link remain unclear.

Visualization on how self handicapping can lead

This is known to researchers as behavioral handicapping, in which the individual actually creates obstacles to performance. This is known as claimed self-handicapping, in which the individual merely states that an obstacle to performance exists. Examples of claimed self-handicaps include declarations that one is experiencing physical symptoms.

An example of self-handicapping is the student who spends the night before an important exam partying rather than studying. The student fears failing his exam and appearing incapable. In partying the night before the exam the student has engaged in self-defeating behaviour and increased the likelihood of poor exam performance.

However, in the event of failure, the student can offer fatigue and a hangover, rather than lack of ability, as plausible explanations. Furthermore, should the student receive positive feedback about his exam, his achievement is enhanced by the fact that he succeeded, despite the handicap.

Individual differences[ edit ] People differ in the extent to which they self-handicap [11] and most research on individual differences has used the Self-Handicapping Scale SHS. Research to date shows that SHS has adequate construct validity. For example, fear of failure, a heightened sensitivity to shame and embarrassment upon failure, [16] motivates self-handicapping behavior.

To avoid ability attributions and the shame of failure, the student fails to adequately prepare for an exam. While research assessing differences in reported self-handicapping have revealed no gender differences [15] or greater self-handicapping among females, [3] [18] the vast majority of research suggests that males are more inclined to behaviourally self-handicap.

In the late s, Goffman and Heider published research concerning the manipulation of outward behavior for the purpose of impression management. It was not until 30 years later that self-handicapping behavior was attributed to internal factors. Until this point, self-handicapping only encompassed the usage of external factors, such as alcohol and drugs.

Self-handicapping is usually studied in an experimental setting, but is sometimes studied in an observational environment. Self-handicapping has been observed in both laboratory and real world settings.

Visualization on how self handicapping can lead

Studying the psychological and physical effects of self-handicapping has allowed researchers to witness the dramatic effects that it has on attitude and performance. Jones and Berglas gave people positive feedback following a problem-solving test, regardless of actual performance.

Half the participants had been given fairly easy problems, while the others were given difficult problems. Participants were then given the choice between a "performance-enhancing drug" and a drug that would inhibit it.

Those participants who received the difficult problems were more likely to choose the impairing drug, and participants who faced easy problems were more likely to choose the enhancing drug.

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It is argued that the participants presented with hard problems, believing that their success had been due to chance, chose the impairing drug because they were looking for an external attribution what might be called an "excuse" for expected poor performance in the future, as opposed to an internal attribution.

The results provided evidence for self-protection but not for self-enhancement. In contrast, the subsequent performances of those swimmers who had more optimistic attributions concerning their poor swimming times were not affected. They attributed their failure to an external force rather than blaming themselves.

Therefore, their self-esteem remained intact, which led to their success in subsequent events. This experiment demonstrates the positive effects that self-handicapping can have on an individual because when they attributed the failure to an external factor, they did not internalize the failure and let it psychologically affect them.

Previous research has looked at the consequences of self-handicapping and have suggested that self-handicapping leads to a more positive mood at least in the short term [27] [28] or at least guards against a drop in positive mood after failure. Research suggests that among those who self-handicap, self-imposed obstacles may relieve the pressure of a performance and allow one to become more engaged in a task.

Self-handicapping assessed on the first occasion predicted coping with problems by denial, blaming others and criticizing oneself as well as depression and somatic complaints.

Visualization on how self handicapping can lead

Depression and somatic complaints also predicted subsequent self-handicapping. If people believe that they are going to fail, they create obstacles and excuses to justify their failures.

There are many real world applications for this concept.Researcher Sean McCrea has also found that self-handicapping can lead to lower motivation and less incentive to try to succeed in the future. In a series of experiments, he manipulated participants' scores on .

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Self-handicapping - Wikipedia