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Research fairly consistently shows that men self-handicap more than women. This study investigated whether this gender difference depends on the particular domain of the task in which the women and men engage. To set the stage for self-handicapping, the 40 male and 40 female participants were provided with non-contingent success feedback about their performance on a task which they were told was reflective of their general academic ability or their social competence. In a 2×2 between-subjects design the ex post facto variable of gender was factorially combined with the independent variable of performance implication, either academic ability or social competence. It was predicted that men would be most likely to self-handicap when the task was described as reflective of their academic abilities whereas the women would engage in self-handicapping when the task was described as reflective of their social competence. Contrary to this prediction, this study showed that men self-handicapped more than women regardless of the implications of the task.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-01-01

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