Self Esteem : Self Handicapping Essay

1057 Words Apr 21st, 2016 null Page
Self-Handicapping in Students
In 1978 Berglass and Jones introduced the term self-handicapping to describe a cognitive strategy when people avoid putting effort into a task in hope that failure will not hurt self-esteem. Humans can rationalize failure in the impending task as being due to lack of effort. One way self-handicapping has been studied is in the academic environment. Self-handicapping can be seen in educational settings and is often preceded by procrastination (Urdan & Midgley, 2001). Self-handicapping is never more apparent than in the classroom when students receive an assignment that often creates anxiety. They choose to push this assignment as far out as possible to reduce anxiety and make it seem distant. However, when the time comes to face the task students may feel hesitant and lack confidence about the success of the tasks so they engage in self-handicapping behaviors to preserve self-esteem (Harris & Snyder, 1986; Urdan & Midgley, 2001; Zuckerman, Kieffer, & Knee, 1998). The failure of the assignment can be rationalized as a lack of time, energy, and effort and can be externally attributed to the other things they were focused on instead of the lack of effort into the assignment (Urdan & Midgley, 2001). This paper will examine self-handicapping and the factors that contribute to self-handicapping in students from junior high school through university years. There seems to be a change in factors that contribute and mediate self-handicapping at the…

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