I'm reading Deppe and Harackiewicz's (1996) article on self-handicapping and intrinsic motivation, which suggested that people who engaged in self-handicapping behaviors showed more interest in a task than those who didn't, logically because their pre-made "excuse" allowed them to enjoy the task without risking their self-views.

The question I had for which I can't seem to find an empirical answer is whether engaging in self-handicapping behaviors actually reduces future effort and performance. I can see it going either way. On one hand once someone has self-handicapped, they might be free to show less effort, but on the other hand they might then be free to try harder because they aren't afraid of the labels that come with failure.

Has anyone seen any articles that answer this question?


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