Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)
Second Committee Member
Intentionalism, Self-Deception, Self-Handicapping
In this thesis, I present a novel example of intentional self-deception as embodied in self-handicapping behavior. Self-handicapping is the proactive construction or acquisition of some obstacle to success in some domain, and is employed by individuals primarily as a means of deflecting blame for a failure or negative outcome. I argue that this behavior stands in a mutual, symbiotic relationship to self-deception. On the one hand, self-handicapping is the behavioral instantiation of the biased evidence manipulation which facilitates self-deception; while on the other hand, self-handicapping effectively functions to bias judgments in this way only in case concurrent self-deception sustains the behavioral process. If my account is accurate, the findings support Intentionalist theories of self-deception, broadly, but also highlights behavioral self-handicapping as a phenomenon worthy of philosophical attention.
Hallam, K. T. (2020). When Down Looks Like Up: Self-Deceptive Self-Handicapping. Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/3789