Self-Handicapping is when someone makes excuses for a potential failure or anticipated poor performance. For example, if a student says, “I’m not going to do well on the Psychology test because I’m sick,” then if they get a bad grade they can blame it on illness instead of their lack of skill or preparation. Self-handicapping is a way of preserving self-esteem, but it is a self-defeating behavior in that the person is avoiding effort and responsibility.

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