AUG 17, 2018 7:07 AM PDT

Why do I self-sabotage before a big exam?

Have you ever been so stressed about an exam that you ended up sabotaging yourself? Psychologists use the term "self-handicapping" to refer to actions that we take in order to purposely mess ourselves up - i.e. procrastinating by binging on your new favorite Netflix show instead of actually studying for said exam. Scientists think that self-handicapping is basically an excuse that you have ready in place so that you don't feel badly about yourself or others don't think badly of you if you don't perform well. 

There are two types of self-handicapping that psychologists differentiate between: behavioral and claimed. Behavioral self-handicapping is when you actually behave in a certain way by doing actions, like going out to a party and getting drunk the night before your thesis defense, or not doing actions, like failing to read that book for group discussion tomorrow. Claimed handicapping is more about the things you say than the things you do. "Oh, I'm tired today. I'm not feeling well. I didn't sleep well." Etcetera, etcetera. Have you ever realized you're self-handicapping? Watch the video to learn more!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JAN 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 21, 2020
After Hibernation, These Grizzlies Turn to Clams for Nourishment
Grizzly bears spend up to seven Wintery months hibernating, and in that time, they can lose a substantial amount of their body weight. While surrounding ma...
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
Just How Powerful is a Piece of Space Debris?
One of the most commonly discussed topics in space science today is the space junk problem, in which space junk collides with objects to create space debri...
FEB 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 18, 2020
This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae
We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The e...
FEB 22, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
FEB 22, 2020
Harmful Algal Blooms
Algae is an essential plant-like organism. They contribute to the diet of some marine animals and supply necessary oxygen to bodies of water. Algae populat...
MAR 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 02, 2020
Does the Earth Have a Second Moon?
If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines as of late, then you might’ve caught wind about the Earth having a second moon. But before you...
MAR 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 24, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
Our solar system is only one out of hundreds of stellar systems residing in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s comprised of the Sun and eight known planets,...
Loading Comments...