Effects of Situational Self-Handicapping and State Self-Confidence on the Physical Performance of Young Participants

By Ryska, Todd A. | The Psychological Record, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

Effects of Situational Self-Handicapping and State Self-Confidence on the Physical Performance of Young Participants


Ryska, Todd A., The Psychological Record


Young people often find themselves in physical activity settings that emphasize social comparison and foster uncertainty of performance success. This tenuous situation increases the potential of projecting self-deprecatory images to significant others including teachers, parents, and classmates. Such images convey negative, self-referent information such as inadequate ability, insufficient fitness levels, and lack of mental fortitude. The psychological distress experienced during this evaluated performance is largely a result of one's motivation to create and maintain a self-effacing impression on others (Leary, 1992, 1995).

In order to minimize the psychological stress associated with performing poorly on an ability-referent task, some individuals systematically employ self-protective strategies prior to performance. The act of self-handicapping involves the positing of claimed or behavioral barriers to performance that are both self-debilitating (i.e., decrease the probability of success) and self-protective (i.e., decrease stress through nonability attributions for failure) (Berglas & Jones, 1978). Self-handicapping has been theorized to control the attributions of others with regard to one's performance outcome through either an augmenting or discounting function (Kelly, 1972). Empirical evidence demonstrates that a lodged self-handicap coupled with subsequent performance success augments the individual's perceived ability given the fact that such success was achieved despite a supposed performance-debilitating obstacle (Feick & Rhodewalt, 1997; Tice, 1991). Other results point to the discounting function of self-handicapping whereby self-referent attributes such as ability, competence, or intelligence are attenuated as salient sources of performance failure (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Paisley, 1985; Rhodewalt & Davison, 1986; Rhodewalt & Hill, 1995; Rhodewalt, Morf, Hazlett, & Fairfield, 1991; Schouten & Handelsman, 1987).

Considerable social psychology research has investigated both the antecedents and consequences of self-handicapping behavior under controlled, experimental conditions. For example, studies have documented the personal characteristics predictive of self-handicapping (Dietrich, 1995; Harris, Snyder, Higgins, & Scrag, 1986; Midgley, Arunkumar, & Urdan, 1996; Rhodewalt, 1990), manifestations of behavioral and claimed handicaps (DeGree & Snyder, 1985; Schultheiss & Brunstein, 2000; Smith, Snyder, & Handelsman, 1982; Tice & Baumeister, 1990), motives underlying self-protective strategies (Hirt, Deppe, & Gordon, 1991; Tice, 1991), affective and attitudinal consequences of self-handicapping (Cox & Giuliano, 2000; Deppe & Harackiewicz, 1996; Spalding & Hardin, 1999; Zuckerman, Kieffer, & Knee, 1998) and evaluative conditions that typically elicit self-handicapping behavior (Feick & Rhodewalt, 1997; Rhodewalt & Hill, 1995; Self, 1990; Snyder, 1990). In the sport realm, studies have focused on the relationship between s elf-handicapping and self-esteem (Prapavessis & Grove, 1998), effort management (Rhodewalt, Saltzman, & Wittmer, 1984), team cohesion (Carron, Prappavesis, & Grove, 1994; Hausenblas & Carron, 1996), precompetitive affect (Prapavessis & Grove, 1994; Ryska, Yin, & Cooley, 1998), and motivational team climate (Ryska, Yin, & Boyd, 1999). Given the demonstrated impact of self-handicapping on performance-related factors in competitive sport such as affect, motivation, and effort, it is surprising that no known research has addressed the relationship between self-handicapping and physical performance.

The nature of self-handicapping is paradoxical in that the barriers created to preserve one's perceived ability from potential failure make that failure all the more certain. Although the short-term benefits of self-handicapping include reduced psychological stress resulting from personal failure as well as an illusion of maintained skill and ability, these benefits come at the long-term expense of performance success. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Effects of Situational Self-Handicapping and State Self-Confidence on the Physical Performance of Young Participants
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.