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Imposing an obstacle to one's successful performance in a particular situation in order to provide an excuse for failure (usually in a person of low self-esteem) or to increase the credit that one can take for success (usually in a person of high self-esteem). Typical examples are going out with friends rather than staying at home and studying the night before an important examination, or becoming intoxicated with alcohol before a date or a potential sexual encounter. It occurs most often when a person is uncertain of success in an ego-involving endeavour.

Subjects: Psychology.

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