have argued that the strategies individuals use for self-esteem regulation are
interchangeable. In the present study, we examined whether previous
self-affirmation reduces the amount of subsequent claimed self-handicapping.
More importantly, we tested potential moderators of these effects. Following
negative feedback on an intelligence test, 56 female college students were
given the opportunity to affirm themselves either within the threatened
intelligence domain or within a
domain unrelated to the source of threat (e.g., musicality). Results revealed
that subjects handicapped less when they had previously affirmed themselves in
a domain which was unrelated to the threatening domain (contextual moderator).
However, these effects were moderated by dispositional self-esteem (individual
moderator). High self-esteem participants claimed fewer handicaps the more they
felt self-affirmed whereas claimed self-handicapping among low self-esteem
participants was not affected by previous self-affirmation. Altogether, our
findings suggest certain limitations on the substitutability of self-protection
Cite this paper
Tandler, S. , Schwinger, M. , Kaminski, K. & Stiensmeier-Pelster, J. (2014). Self-Affirmation Buffers Claimed Self-Handicapping? A Test of Contextual and Individual Moderators. Psychology, 5,
321-327. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.55042
 Amthauer, R., Brocke, B., Liepmann, D., & Beauducel, A. (2001). Intelligenz-Struktur-Test 2000 R. Gottingen: Hogrefe.
 Aronson, J., Blanton, H., & Cooper, J. (1995). From Dissonance to Disidentification: Selectivity in the Self-Affirmation Process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 986-996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1686
 Cohen, G. L., Aronson, J., & Steele, C. M. (2000). When Beliefs Yield to Evidence: Reducing Biased Evaluation by Affirming the Self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1151-1164.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/01461672002611011
 Ferring, D., & Filipp, S.-H. (1996). Messung des Selbstwertgefühls: Befunde zu Reliabilitat, Validitat und Stabilitat der Rosenberg-Skala. Diagnostica, 42, 284-292.
 Kernis, M. H. (2003). Toward a Conceptualization of Optimal Self-Esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 1-26.http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1401_01
 McCrea, S. M., & Hirt, E. R. (2011). Limitations on the Substitutability of Self-Protection Processes: Self-Handicapping Is Not Reduced by Related-Domain Self-Affirmations. Social Psychology, 42, 9-18.http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000038
 Shepperd, J., & Arkin, R. M. (1989). Determinants of Self-Handicapping: Task Importance and Effects of Pre-Existing Handicaps on Self-Generated Handicaps. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15, 101-112.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167289151010
 Siegel, P. A., Scillitoe, J., & Parks-Yancy, R. (2005). Reducing the Tendency to Self-Handicap: The Effect of Self-Affirmation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 589-597. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2004.11.004
 Steele, C. M. (1988). The Psychology of Self-Affirmation: Sustaining the Integrity of the Self. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 21 (pp. 261-302). New York: Academic Press.
 Stone, J., & Cooper, J. (2001). A Self-Standards Model of Cognitive Dissonance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 228-243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jesp.2000.1446
 Stone, J., & Cooper, J. (2003). The Effect of Self-Attribute Relevance on How Self-Esteem Moderates Attitude Change in Dissonance Processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 508-515.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1031(03)00018-0
 Stone, J., Wiegand, A. W., Cooper, J., & Aronson, E. (1997). When Exemplification Fails: Hypocrisy and the Motive for Self-Integrity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 54-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.124
 Tesser, A., Crepaz, N., Collins, J. C., Cornell, D., & Beach, S. R. H. (2000). Confluence of Self-Esteem Regulation Mechanisms: On Integrating the Self-Zoo. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 1476-1489.http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/01461672002612003
 Zuckerman, M., & Tsai, F.-F. (2005). Costs of Self-Handicapping. Journal of Personality, 73, 411-442.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2005.00314.x.