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ERIC Number: EJ1054474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
The Message Matters: The Role of Implicit Beliefs about Giftedness and Failure Experiences in Academic Self-Handicapping
Snyder, Kate E.; Malin, Jenessa L.; Dent, Amy L.; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa
Journal of Educational Psychology, v106 n1 p230-241 Feb 2014
Insight into causal mechanisms underlying underachievement among gifted students has remained elusive. Based on the premise of self-worth theory and implicit beliefs about intelligence, it was hypothesized that entity-focused messages about giftedness would lead to maladaptive academic coping behaviors when gifted status was threatened. Therefore, the current research examined the interactive effect of messages about giftedness as fixed or malleable and success or failure experiences on both behavioral and claimed self-handicapping among a sample of 108 undergraduates attending an elite university. Following a failure experience, participants who had heard an entity message about giftedness engaged in behavioral self-handicapping to a greater degree than those who heard an incremental message about giftedness. Female participants who received an entity message engaged in more claimed self-handicapping after experiencing failure and less claimed self-handicapping after experiencing success. There were no differences in claimed self-handicapping after success and failure for female participants who received an incremental message. This pattern is in line with an impression management strategy. In contrast, implicit messages did not influence male participants' claimed self-handicapping. Implications for motivational theory and educational practice are discussed.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A