I Know Me Best

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One of the most surprising things I learned this semester was that we, as human beings, tend to misjudge our motivations, or ourselves (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts 2005).  Not surprisingly, we tend to judge ourselves more favorably than we should.


I like to believe I know why I do what I do, but after reading about self-handicapping, I am pretty sure I subconsciously do this quite often. Self-handicapping is when people act in ways that will undermine their following performances. Therefore, having potential excuses for possible failures (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts 2005). There have been many times I wait until the last minute to do an assignment, and then sit back later and think "if only I would apply myself, I wonder what I could do".  In a study by Bailis (2001) the effects of self-hadicapping were positively related to performance and self-reports of optimal experience in competitions.


I know I exhibit the self-serving bias daily. Self-serving bias is when we attribute positive outcomes to internal causes (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts 2005). I am a very good cook, at least everyone tells me so, and I always tell people it is due to the fact that I am Italian. In actuality, being of Italian descent is probably my most used reason for the positive (and negative) traits and abilities.

These social psychology theories were really interesting to me, and a complete eye opener. I find myself noticing when I use a self-serving bias, or self handicap now.


Bailis, D. S. (2001). Benefits of self-handicapping in sport: A field study of university athletes. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement, 33(4), 213-223. doi:10.1037/h0087143

Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., & Coutts, L.M. (2005).  Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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