Growth motivation as a moderator of behavioral self-handicapping in women

Christina M. Brown, Sun Woong Park, Susan F. Folger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Behavioral self-handicapping is a strategy used to protect attributions about ability. People behaviorally self-handicap by creating an obstacle to their success so failure is attributed to the obstacle instead of to their ability. Although past research has observed behavioral self-handicapping exclusively in men, the current research revealed a moderator of behavioral self-handicapping in women: growth motivation, which reflects the desire to develop one's abilities and learn from failure. Participants (N=100) completed a test purportedly predictive of successful careers and relationships, and some were given failure feedback about their performance. Participants could behaviorally self-handicap by choosing to complete another test in a performance-impairing environment. Although men self-handicapped more overall, women self-handicapped more after failure when they were low in growth motivation. These results highlight a novel moderator of behavioral self-handicapping in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume152
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • gender differences
  • growth motivation
  • self-evaluation
  • self-handicapping
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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