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SELF-FOCUS, GENDER, AND HABITUAL SELF-HANDICAPPING: DO THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN BEHAVIORAL SELF-HANDICAPPING?

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Abstract:

This experiment examined the effects of public self-focus on individuals' behavioral self-handicapping tendencies. When faced with a threatening evaluation, a person may choose to self-handicap behaviorally. Men, more than women, and trait self-handicappers have been shown to self-handicap behaviorally. How do situational factors such as self-focus interface with these personal characteristics to affect such actions? Self-focus of attention was expected to make the self-evaluation implications of an upcoming performance more salient and to cause the self-focused performer to self-handicap behaviorally. Persons who were low or high in habitual self-handicapping were presented with an important intellectual evaluation and were allowed to practice for the upcoming test. Results showed that men self-handicap more by practicing less when they are self-focused, but women do not self-handicap under selffocus and self-handicapping instruction conditions. The implications of these findings for understanding the antecedent conditions of self-handicapping are discussed in the context of other recent work.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.1.43

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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