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Self worth protection in achievement behaviour: A review and implications for counselling


Thompson, T, Self worth protection in achievement behaviour: A review and implications for counselling, Australian Psychologist, 31, (1) pp. 41-47. ISSN 0005-0067 (1996) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/00050069608260175


This paper reviews findings in relation to the self-worth theory of achievement motivation (Beery, 1975; Covington, 1984a, 1984b; Covington & Beery, 1976; Covington & Omelich, 1979a). The purpose in doing so is to establish guidelines which may be used to advise counselling approaches for self-worth protective students. These are students who voluntarily withdraw effort in achievement situations in which poor performance is likely to reflect low ability. While low effort allows a sense of self-worth to be protected in the short term, long-term results include perpetuation of avoidance behaviours in situations which involve threat to self-esteem, substantial underachievement, and maintenance of low self-estimates of ability. Recommendations for counselling include cognitive restructuring as a means of altering unproductive perceptions and cognitions which lie at the heart of self-worth protection. These include a tendency to reject personal agency as cause of success, disproportionate emphasis given to achievement as a criterion of selfworth, and attributional uncertainty.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Sensory processes, perception and performance
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Thompson, T (Dr Ted Thompson)
ID Code:7862
Year Published:1996
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Sociology
Deposited On:1996-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-19

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