Modern Psychological Studies
1 & 2
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Self-handicapping is a term used to refer to the strategic creation of obstacles that interfere with successful performance of a task. Self-handicapping allows a person to credit failure to an external cause (the handicap) or to credit success to an internal cause (e.g., ability to overcome an obstacle), thereby protecting self-esteem in either case. The general consensus among researchers has been that women do not behaviorally self-handicap. The goal of the present study is twofold. The first goal is to explore possible paradigms in which females behaviorally selfhandicap. It is proposed that self-handicapping women do choose behavioral handicaps in high importance, real-life situations. The performance task in the present study is competition in NCAA Division III college athletics at a small mid-western liberal arts college. Based upon current literature on behavioral self-handicapping in groups and in athletes, it is further hypothesized that members of individual sports will behaviorally self-handicap more than members of team sports. The sample included males and females from four different sports (basketball, soccer, track, and swimming). Sixty-six athletes received, completed, and returned a behavioral self-handicapping survey via campus mail. The experimental design was a 2 (men vs. women) X 2 (team vs. individual sport) factorial design. The results, analyzed in a two-way ANOVA, support the hypothesis that individual athletes behaviorally selfhandicap significantly more than team athletes and that there are no sex differences.
BF1 .M63 v. 7 no. 1 & 2 2001
Sniezek, Richanne C.
"Behavioral self-handicapping among male and femal athletes,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 7:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol7/iss1/4