22 Mar 2022


Self-Handicapping In Society

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Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1080

Pages: 4

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The first article is by Timothy Pychyl, who is the director of the center for initiatives in education. The article is called Delay as a Self-handicapping Strategy: I Can Protect My Self-image by Procrastinating . In the article the author suggests, "By finding or creating impediments that make good performance less likely, the strategist nicely protects his or her sense of self-competence" (Pychyl ,2016) the person intentionally sets limiting factors that will hinder the person from tasking the first step. It a study found out that there are certain universal self-handicapping strategies people use, and alcohol is one of them. People will tend to use alcohol when they feel like underachievers. When one drinks, one cannot fully understand who he or she is and what he or she is capable. At this state of imbibing one is likely to under sell himself or herself.

The article suggests that there is a correlation between alcohol and self-handicapping. This can be seen as viable because when people drink alcohol, they tend to be in an emotional state, which is depressed, and one feels like he or she cannot achieve anything in the world or that one is a “loser.” This article associates with other articles because it shows that self-handicapping can be influenced by external factors.

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The second article is called Self-Handicapping: Why Making Excuses Hurts You , the author explores the fact that people have a strong fear of failing. This is because people do not like to be seen as let downs in society (PsyBlog, 2011). Most importantly, it is about how people view themselves, and people fear failure because they do not want to view themselves in a negative way. This outlook on oneself is called self-esteem, and it plays a role in self-handicapping. In this article, the suggested self-handicapping tools include procrastination, drinking alcohol or abusing other drugs and lacking to try hard. It has been observed that when one does not try to hard is that when one fails he or she will say that the failure does not reflect their ability. In the scenario where one succeeds, he or she will be viewed to having extraordinary abilities.

The article highlights a major tool that self-handicappers use which is not trying hard enough. It is human nature for people to fear failure and the article clearly brings out this and strongly supports the point. The article is related to other articles because it elucidates on handicapping and the tools people use to deny themselves success.

The third article is called Self-Handicapping . The article introduces that researchers have noted a behavior that is the opposite of overconfidence. Where people are biased with themselves and try to explain any possible failure or poor performance with false reasons. The scenario given is when someone proclaims that he or she is not feeling well before a major event such as speech making ("Self-Handicapping", 2016). Just in case the individual does not do well in the event then he or she considers that the crowd has the explanation. This article geared more to an investment approach and suggests that investors self-handicap themselves by admitting that they did not research the area well so that when the company fails they can highlight the lack of research as the problem. The research suggests that both overconfidence and self-handicapping are negative tendencies that affect individuals and companies. The article highlights self-handicapping as the opposite of overconfidence a relational that can be seen as true. Overconfidence is overselling one’s ability while self-handicapping is underselling one's abilities, these two scenarios can be viewed as recipes for disaster as both cases the person does not put in the required effort for success. This article relates to the other articles because it show that self-handicapping does not only affect individuals, but it can affect groups or corporation and alter their views on the strategies needed to achieve their goals.

The fourth article is Academic Self-Handicapping and Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. This article explores the nature of self-handicapping. It defines it as “any action or choice of performance setting that enhances the opportunity to externalize (or excuse) failure and to internalize success” (Schwinger, Wirthwein, Lemmer, & Steinmayr, 2014). The impetus for this state of mind is highlighted as the uncertainty or lack of confidence in one’s ability. Self-handicapping is used to mitigate anticipated threats to an individual’s self-esteem. An Impediment easily redirects blame from the individual to the situation such as when a student says he or she failed the exam because of illness instead of the student’s stupidity.

This article takes the reader deeper into the subject of self-handicapping by giving evidence that self-handicapping is used to mitigate threats. The example of the student is one many people can associate with when one fails looking for a good excuse is often the priority to throw the blame away from one person to another. All this is done to ensure that self-esteem is not hurt in the event of failure. This article relates to other articles used in this work because it upholds the argument that self-handicapping is used to protect one’s self-esteem.

The fifth article is An Investigation into the Self-handicapping Behaviors of Undergraduates in Terms of Academic Procrastination, the Locus of Control, and Academic Success . It highlights a study to investigate how self-handicapping and academic success are tied (Akça, 2012). It is aimed at determining the variables that affected self-handicapping. The study population was over two hundred undergraduates from different departments of the faculty of education at Uludag University. The study used the self-handicapping scale as well as the academic procrastination scale. The data collected was analyzed by the Pearson correlation analysis and multilinear regression. Due to the correlation analysis, a significant positive relationship was found between self-handicapping and academic procrastination.

The last article is called Limitations on the Substitutability of Self-Protective Processes: Self-Handicapping is Not Reduced by Related-Domain Self-Affirmations . The article elucidates that the act striving to accomplish goals can be undermined when people have a higher desire to protect self-view. This occurs when individuals are more concerned with trying to mitigate risks or any negative altercations of failure than being more concerned with self-improvement. In this case, the individual greatly undermines his or her own potential or creates false obstructions to success (McCrea & Hirt, 2011). The writer also suggests cures for the negative tendency. One solution to combat self-handicapping is to affirm integrity by concentrating on the positive aspects of the individual.

The two articles give conclusive information on variables that cause self-handicapping and touches on the solution. The study on students in the University of Uludag seems to have taken a small sample population considering universities have over one thousand students who are taking an exam at one particular period. This sample data may not reflect the true population. The articles are related to the other articles used in this work because they provide sound evidence on the subject matter and also the solution to self-handicapping.


Akça, F. (2012). An Investigation into the Self-handicapping Behaviors of Undergraduates in Terms of Academic Procrastination, the Locus of Control and Academic Success. Journal Of Education And Learning , 1 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v1n2p288McCrea, S. & Hirt, E. (2011). Limitations on the Substitutability of Self-Protective Processes. Social Psychology , 42 (1), 9-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000038 .

Pychyl, T. (2016). Delay as a Self-handicapping Strategy: I Can Protect My Self-image by Procrastinating? . Psychology Today . Retrieved 23 April 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/200805/delay-self-handicapping-strategy-i-can-protect-my-self-image-procrastinating.

Schwinger, M., Wirthwein, L., Lemmer, G., & Steinmayr, R. (2014). Academic self-handicapping and achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal Of Educational Psychology , 106 (3), 744-761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035832 .

Self-Handicapping . (2016). News.morningstar.com . Retrieved 23 April 2016, from https://news.morningstar.com/classroom2/course.asp?docId=145104&page=4&CN =

Self-Handicapping: Why Making Excuses Hurts You - PsyBlog . (2011). PsyBlog . Retrieved 23 April 2016, from http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/11/self-handicapping-why-making-excuses-hurts-you.php

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