Self Sabotaging Behavior
Self Sabotaging Behavior (AKA: Self-handicapping) is a cognitive
strategy used to withdraw efforts or create obstacles in order
to keep potential failure from hurting self-esteem, or to maintain
public and private self-images of competence.
Individuals have a general tendency to seek consonance between
their views of themselves (self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy)
and their lives. Critical inner voices (negative self-talk) encourage
individuals to act out their defenses in all areas of their lives.
Individuals are often unaware of their own self-sabotaging thoughts
Also see Goal Conflict
and Control Theory.
"You are your own worst enemy"
Kolditz TA, Arkin RM (1982). An impression management interpretation
of the self-handicapping strategy. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 43, 492-502.
Adaptive Preference Formation
Individual criticizes unattainable:
- Desires goal
- Realizes goal is too difficult to attain unattainable
- Reduces dissonance by criticizing goal
"Any fool can despise what he can not get".
Elster J (1983). Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion
of Rationality. Cambridge. 123ff.
Temptation Affects Moral Attitudes
Students judge cheating less harshly after being induced to
cheat on a test.
Also see Anabolic Steroids.
Mill J (1958). "Changes in moral attitudes following
temptation". Journal of Personality 26 (4): 517531.
Confirmation Bias is a tendency to remember, interpret, or
selectively search for information that is consistent to one's
beliefs. This type of cognitive bias is stronger for deeply rooted
or emotionally charged issues. It explains other cognitive phenomena:
- Irrational primacy effect
- Illusionary correlation
- Illusion-of-truth effect
- tendency to believe a familiar statement than an unfamiliar
- Attitude polarization
- differing conclusions to same evidence
- Choice-supportive bias
- memory bias that makes past choices seem better than they
- Belief perseverance
- belief persists after belief is shown to be false
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is
ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted
as being self-evident."