Self-Defeating Behaviors

Experimental Research, Clinical Impressions, and Practical Implications

  • Rebecca C. Curtis

Part of the The Plenum Series in Social / Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    1. Rebecca Curtis
      Pages 1-7
  3. How Self-Defeating Behaviors Develop and Persist

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Morgan P. Slusher, Craig A. Anderson
      Pages 11-40
    3. James L. Hilton, John M. Darley, John H. Fleming
      Pages 41-65
    4. Norman T. Feather
      Pages 67-95
  4. Self-Defeating Responses to the Threat of Unpleasant Outcomes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Raymond L. Higgins, C. R. Snyder
      Pages 99-130
    3. Mel L. Snyder, Arthur Frankel
      Pages 131-157
    4. Donnah Canavan
      Pages 159-188
    5. Rebecca Curtis
      Pages 189-214
    6. Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, Carol E. Thomas
      Pages 215-234
    7. Christopher Peterson, Lisa M. Bossio
      Pages 235-257
  5. When Situational, Responses Become Personality Dispositions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. Thomas A. Widiger, Allen J. Frances
      Pages 289-309
    3. Timothy J. Strauman
      Pages 311-339
  6. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 341-341
    2. Rebecca Curtis
      Pages 343-361
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 363-379

About this book


In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands. And ate of it. I said: "Is it good, friend?" "It is bitter-bitter," he answered; But I like it Because it is bitter, And because it is my heart. " Stephen Crane The Black Riders and Other Lines "It is the function of great art to purge and give meaning to human suffering," wrote Bernard Knox (1982, p. 149) in his introduction to Oedipus Rex. This is done by showing some causal connection between the hero's free will and his suffer­ ing, by bringing to the fore the interplay of the forces of destiny and human freedom. Knox states that Freud was wrong when he suggested that it was "the particular nature of the material" in Oedipus that makes the play so deeply moving, and not the contrast between destiny and human will. Knox believes that this play has an overpowering effect upon us, not only because we share the tendency of Oedipus to direct" our first sexual impulse towards our mother" and "our first murderous wish against our father," as Freud tells us, but also because the theological modification of the legend introduced by Sophocles calls into question the sacred beliefs of our time (Knox, 1982, pp. 133-137).


Free Will Freud Motivation Therapeut attention attribution behavior cognitive theory evaluation freedom masochism nature personality psychology social psychology

Editors and affiliations

  • Rebecca C. Curtis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-8080-4
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4613-0783-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1568-2528
  • Buy this book on publisher's site