Social Psychology: Self-Handicapping Essay

813 Words 4 Pages
It’s the night before the big exam, and my body is not in the suitable mood to stare at notes and text in order to learn the answer to any question to be asked the next day. I know that I should, but studying isn’t extremely enjoyable, especially when up against a night out and a slight morning headache. Of course I go out. In the event that the test does not go as well as I hope, my night out will be my excuse for the result.
The next day’s test turns out to be satisfactorily completed (as usual), though I know I could have performed better. My rather eventful night did not become my excuse for an unsatisfactory grade, but rather a pathetic justification for not seeking to achieve my finest. To the benefit of myself, I don’t
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Schrof (1993) also suggests that those most susceptible to become chronic excuse makers are also obsessed with success. This fear of failure is what becomes the drive to create excuses in case of failure. In the study by Kimble, Kimble, & Croy (1998) there exists one chief predictor in the development of self-handicapping tendencies. The study found a linear correlation between the ages of the subjects and the degree of self-handicapping. Young children self-handicap less than older children, who self-handicap less than adults. Self-handicapping also had a direct association with the self-esteem of the subjects; subjects with lower self esteem seemed to self-handicap more in order to protect their self esteem. Results of this study indicate that a self-affirming experience reduces the need to protect self-esteem, and thus reduces the motivation to self-handicap.
According to Pillow (2001) self-handicapping is more prevalent in public, when anxiety is high, and when the task is important. Males have a higher rate of self-handicapping than females, due to higher drug and alcohol use in men. Women also tend to report physical symptoms more (Pillow, 2001). Several studies suggest that men feel they must appear competent in all territories, while women only worry about the skills in which they've deeply (Schrof, 1993). In a study by Bullock & Myers (2000) alcohol is a common subject of self-handicapping when

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