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This research examines the association between self-verification and self-handicapping. Self-verification theory states that people tend to seek information verifying how individuals see themselves. Individuals seek verifying feedback about traits or attributes when they are certain about that attribute, regardless of whether the attribute is positive or negative. However, when individuals are uncertain about a particular trait, they tend to engage in a self-presentational strategy called self-handicapping. Self-handicapping is a self-protecting behavior that mitigates the effect of a potential failure that would otherwise be perceived as threatening to one’s sense of self by providing pre-emptive excuses for poor performances. Using data obtained from a series of questionnaires, this research addresses the question: Given that self-verification occurs when individuals are certain about their self-concept and self-handicapping occurs when they are uncertain, do self-handicappers avoid self-verification?

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Honors Thesis

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Erin O'Mara

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Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Related Self-Motives? Examining the Association between Self-Verification and Self-Handicapping