SELF-HANDICAPPING STRATEGY IN ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN GOMBE STATE UNIVERSITY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The practice of self-handicapping by students in most of the Nigerian universities has increased overtime which in turn has significant effect on the academic performance of students.
According to (Berglas & Jones, 1978) defined self-handicapping as constructing impediments to performance to protect or enhance one’s perceived competence. Authors like Covington (1992) stated that in human nature, there is a need to preserve belief in one’s self-worth, so in achievement contexts, failure becomes a serious threat. That would significantly throw more light as to why instead of adopting a success orientation when confronted with schoolwork, some students focus on avoiding failure, or more specifically, avoiding the negative emotional consequences that emanate from failure.
According to (De Castella, Byrne, & Covington, 2013) stated that orientation is thwarted by fear of failure and fear that failure is a symptom of low personal competence, these failure avoiders tend to purposefully engage in some type of mechanism that enables them to ignore, avoid, or attenuate sources of anxiety and negative emotions.
It is also evident that Strategies like overworking and defensive pessimism meet that description, too, but self-handicapping strategies best reflect the clear commitment, cognitive or behavioral, to failure avoidance (Martin, Marsh, & Debus, 2001a).
Many reasons might push students to engage in their learning, but traditionally, academic achievement goal theories have distinguished between two major types (Dweck, 1986): mastery goals and achievement goals. The former are adopted by students who are avid about learning and developing competency. The second are prototypical of pupils who want to demonstrate their ability, but not so much increase it.
According to (Elliot & McGregor, 2001) stated that the current thinking is that these two motivational orientations can also be guided by avoidance tendencies to the extent that some students’ highest aspiration is to not appear incompetent to others (achievement avoidance), and others are compelled by fear of not learning, or of losing previously held competencies (mastery avoidance). With the growth in the practice of self-handicapping in most Nigerian universities, the study wishes to take Gombe State University as the case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
What really instigated the study was due to the growth in lack of motivational orientation in most schools thereby increasing the fear of not learning, or of losing previously held competencies. Other studies have not provided a sufficiently clear and unequivocal view of the relation between students’ achievement motivations, and their engagement in behavioral and claimed self handicapping mechanisms.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine self-handicapping strategy in academic performance in gombe state university. Other specific objectives of the study include:
To examine the relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the behavioural pattern of students in Gombe State University
To examine the effect of self-handicapping on the academic performance of students
To investigate on the factors that are affecting motivational orientations in most Universities in Nigeria
To proffer solution to the above stated problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions in order to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions are stated below as follows:
Is there any relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the behavioural pattern of students in Gombe State University?
What is the effect of self-handicapping on the academic performance of students?
What are the factors that are affecting motivational orientations in most Universities in Nigeria?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the academic performance of students in gombe state university
H1: there is significant relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the academic performance of students in gombe state university
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on self-handicapping strategy in academic performance in gombe state university will be immense benefit to Gombe State University, the students and other institutions as it will discuss in details the relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the academic performance of students in gombe state university, the study will also discuss the factors affecting the practice of self-handicapping strategy in most schools.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on self-handicapping strategy in academic performance will focus on the relationship between self-handicapping strategy and the academic performance of students in Gombe State University.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SELF-HANDICAPPING: is a cognitive strategy by which people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem