Self-Handicapping

Historical Roots and Contemporary Branches
  • Raymond L. Higgins
Part of the The Springer Series in Social / Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)

Abstract

From time to time in the history of science an idea emerges “before its time” and is destined to languish in relative obscurity until the way somehow is prepared for it to assume its rightful place in the order of things. Sometimes, the idea is so precocious that there is no basis in contemporary science or cultural development for its significance to be comprehended or evaluated. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this was Democritus’s fifth-century b. c. proposal that the atom was the fundamental building block of matter. It wasn’t until the twentieth-century a. d. that physical science had advanced to the point that Niels Bohr was finally able to describe the atom as we now understand it. There are other times when an idea “submerges” because there are repressive cultural or ideological forces at work. As an instance of this, consider that Copernicus’s heliocentric (sun-centered) model of the then-known universe was actively suppressed by the Catholic church, based on theological convictions that God’s earth must be the center of the universe. Moreover, Copernicus’s later advocates (e. g., Galileo) were zealously persecuted by the Inquisition.

Keywords

Personality Disorder Test Anxiety Impression Management Causal Attribution Historical Root 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond L. Higgins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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