Self Handicapping

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Over the years much research has been done on the topic of self-handicapping. There have been many studies done on the relationship between the effects of self-handicapping on physical performance of athletes and physical education students. How much of an effect, and whether it is positive or negative to physical performance was a matter of controversy however. The studies agreed that self-handicapping had an impact on physical performance but each went into deeper variables that may enhance or inhibit the effects seen. The literature reviewed shows how self-handicapping and the deeper variables mentioned in each individual study affect physical performance. What is Self-Handicapping?

Before going into the literature states about the effects of self-handicapping on physical performance, it is important to explain what self-handicapping is. self-handicapping can be defined in a number of ways. Ryska (2002), defined self-handicapping as a self protective attribution process wherein performance obstacles are claimed on order to buffer one's self from the threat of potential failure within an evaluative context. This means that individuals self-handicap by participating, or lack of participation in certain things in order to make excuses for potential failure that may occur. self-handicapping is most likely to take place in publicly evaluated situations that are important to the individuals self concept, and where the individual is evaluated against very high standards relative to another person's performance. (Martin & Brawley, 1999). The process of self-handicapping represents a self protective strategy because it draws attention to a possible barrier for performance so that this barrier can be blamed if failure should occur. (Ommundsen, 2004). This self protective strategy is thought to impact performance largely as a function of personal efficacy expectations. The act of self-handicapping can also be self-debilitating because it can...
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