We investigated the effectiveness of self-handicapping as an impression management strategy in college and work contexts. In contrast to past research in which college students are both targets and perceivers, we tested whether target status and perceiver status moderate perceptions of self-handicappers. To this end, we manipulated whether the target was a college student or an adult worker, and we recruited as perceivers both college students (Study 1) and adult workers (Study 2). We additionally manipulated the target's behavior (self-handicapping vs. control) and outcome (success vs. failure). The results revealed that self-handicapping protected a student target (but not a worker) from negative evaluations (e.g., ability attributions) in the eyes of college students, particularly males. However, adult workers consistently judged self-handicapping negatively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology