1.1 Introduction:


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Self-perception is a theory which accounts in attitude formation developed by psychologist Daryl Bem. It asserts that people develop their attitudes (when there is no previous attitude due to a lack of experience etc. and the emotional response is ambiguous) by observing their own behaviour and concluding what attitudes must have caused it. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes determine behaviours. Furthermore, the theory suggests that people induce attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states. The person interprets their own overt behaviours rationally in the same way they attempt to explain others’ behaviours.

The theory explains that all individuals analyse their own behaviour much as an outside observer might and, as a result of these observations, make judgments about why they are motivated to do what they do. Thus, in the example above, self-perception theory would argue that the person, in observing his own behaviour, assesses the effort involved and decides that the initiation was endured because he really wanted to be a member of this group.

There are numerous studies conducted by psychologists that support the self-perception theory, demonstrating that emotions do follow behaviours. For example, it is found that corresponding emotions (including liking, disliking, happiness, anger, etc.) were reported following from their overt behaviours, which had been manipulated by the experimenters. These behaviours included making different facial expressions, gazes, and postures.

?Fear of failure:
Many of us have probably experienced fear and failure at one time or the other. The fear of failing can be immobilizing- it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore resist moving forward. We all have different definitions of failure, simply because we all have different benchmarks, values, and belief systems. A failure to one person might simply be a great learning experience for someone else. But fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia”) is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals.
Fear of failure can be linked to many causes. For instance, having critical or unsupportive parents is a cause for some people. Because they were routinely undermined or humiliated in childhood, they carry those negative feelings into adulthood. Experiencing a traumatic event at some point in our life can also be a cause. For example, say that several years ago one gave an important presentation in front of a large group, and he/she did very poorly. The experience might have been so terrible that they became afraid of failing in other things carry that fear even now, years later.
One can experience various symptoms when they face fear of failure. The most prominent one is low self-esteem and self-confidence, excessive anxiety, low level of self-perception etc. Besides this, failure can also teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned otherwise. For instance, failure can help one discover how strong person one is or help one find unexpected motivation to succeed.


In modern technological society, the passage from childhood to adulthood is marked by a long transitional stage which is called as the adolescence period. Typically, this period is said to begin with the onset of puberty, however puberty ends for most before the adolescence period. This phase is described to have an age range from 13-19 years marked by several biological, cognitive and psychological changes. It is a unique developmental phase in one’s life and is often marked by the prevalent socio-economic and cultural context.

Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery which can bring up various issues of independence and self-identity; many adolescents and their peers face tough choices regarding schoolwork, sexuality, drugs, alcohol and social life. At such periods, peer groups, romantic interests and appearance tend to naturally increase in importance.

The need of high of self-esteem, confidence and self-perceptions attitudes are very important during this phase. It has been long been emphasized in psychological, sociological and educational theory that a person’s beliefs about himself strongly influence his/her behaviour. In order to accomplish self-fulfilment and pursuit of happiness, it is very important for an individual to be nourished with their belief of self-improvement and a high self-achievement.

?Adolescents and culture:

Adolescence is a period of personal and social identity formation, in which different roles, behaviours, and ideologies are explored. Adolescents must explore, test limits, become autonomous, and commit to an identity, or sense of self. Adolescents tend to be rather egocentric; they often experience a self-conscious desire to feel important in peer groups and receive social acceptance. Because choices made during adolescence can influence later life, higher levels of self-awareness and self-control in mid-adolescence will contribute to better decisions during the transition to adulthood. These choices are influences by various factors including the cultural and societal, which shapes many aspects of adolescent development.

There are certain characteristics of adolescent development that are more rooted in culture than in human biology or cognitive structures. Culture is learned and socially shared, and it affects all aspects of an individual’s life. Social responsibilities, sexual expression, and belief-system development, for instance, are all likely to vary based on culture. Furthermore, many distinguishing characteristics of an individual (such as dress, employment, recreation, and language) are all products of culture.

Many factors that shape adolescent development vary by culture. For instance, the degree to which adolescents are perceived as autonomous, or independent, beings varies widely in different cultures, as do the behaviours that represent this emerging autonomy. The lifestyle of an adolescent in a given culture is also profoundly shaped by the roles and responsibilities he or she is expected to assume. Adolescents begin to develop unique belief systems through their interaction with social, familial, and cultural environments. These belief systems encompass everything from religion and spirituality to gender, sexuality, work ethics, and politics. The range of attitudes that a culture embraces on a particular topic affects the beliefs, lifestyles, and perceptions of its adolescents, and can have both positive and negative impacts on their development. Therefore, this study focuses on the adolescents’ self-perception and fear of failure and how it influences their behaviour and attitude on the basis of cultural and societal factors.

1.2 Reviews of literature:

A study conducted by Nurcan Kahraman and Semra Sungur in 2016 aimed at the evaluation of psychometric properties of the 25 –Item Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory, developed by Conroy fin a Turkish middle school students to assess their fear of failure. This scale was administered with two independent samples. Sample 1 consisted of 211 and sample 2 consisted of 977 middle school students. ANOVA results revealed no significant gender differences with respect to the PFAI sub-scales scores. Besides that, the canonical co-relation analysis suggested that mastery avoidance; performance avoidance and performance approach goals are positively related to all dimensions of fear of failure. Although, mastery approach goals have a relationship between fear of shame and embarrassment and fear of having uncertain future, the strength of the relationship was small.

Jeanne Saunders, Larry Davis, Trina Williams and James Herbert Williams in 2001 conducted a study which focused on the academic outcomes of the African American males and females. The purpose of the study was to explore gender differences in the relationship between self-perception and academic outcomes among a sample of 243 African American high school sophomores. The results suggested that, overall; females are more oriented towards high school completion. Both male and female students with more positive self-perceptions have stronger intentions to complete the current year of high school. Higher grade point averages were more strongly associated with greater self-efficacy for females than for males.

Sam S. Sagar, Bradley K. Busch and Sophia Jowett in a study in 2009, examined fear of failure among 81 male adolescent football players aged 16-18 years in English football academics. Four players who reported high fear of failure were interviewed. They perceived the consequences of failure to be both interpersonal and intrapersonal. Fear of Failure affected their sporting performance and interpersonal behaviours. They employed predominantly ineffective coping strategies to deal with fear of failure and with failure experiences. The findings of this study enhance the understanding of fear of failure construct in sport, contributing to both research and practice.

With many researches suggesting the association between the actual body weight and mental health, there was also a little evidence seen on self-perception of weight and mental health status. A study was conducted by Ali MM, Fang H, Rizzo JA in 2010 to examine the relationship between body weight, self-perception of body weight and mental health outcomes among adolescents. The analysis revealed a strongly negative significant relationship between self-perceived weight status and mental health. The negative relationship between self-perceived weight status and depressive symptoms were more pronounced among females. Hence the results correlated with body weight perceptions, suggesting a potentially important link between weight perception and self-esteem.

Sheila Williams and Rob McGee in 1990 worked on the adolescents’ self-perception of their strengths with a sample of 960 adolescents drawn from a general population. The subjects were asked to complete a 22-item scale relating to their self-perceived strengths. Results from the study proved that more boys saw themselves as good at sport, confident, popular having lots of hobbies and attractive, while more girls saw themselves as reliable, kind, independent and affectionate. Regression analysis suggested that boys’ strengths depended more on parent, peer and school attachment, part-time work and number of physical activities they were involved in. on the other hand, girls’ strengths were best predicted by parent attachment and the number of physical activities they are involved in.

Nand Kishor studied about the attitudes and self-perceptions among the adolescents in Fiji along with ethnic comparison. The study was conducted on a sample of 114 Fiji-Indians (62-males and 52- females) and 110 Fijians (49-males and 61-females) from two uni-directional school in Suva on self-esteem and on a sample of 272 Fijians (137-males and 135-females) and 273 Fiji-Indians (141-males and 132- females) students from six secondary schools in Suva and Nausori on self-concept. It was found that that the Fijians and the Fiji-Indians differed significantly in their self-concept and self-esteem. The results showed that the Fiji-Indians viewed and evaluated themselves more positively than the Fijians. Hence, it indicates that the findings show some reasons for the discrepancy between the ethnic groups in their behaviour patterns, particularly in achievement patterns.

Marija Lebedina and Martina Lotar (2011) worked on a study aiming to explore different aspects of adolescents’ self-perception in Croatia. Secondary objectives were to examine differences in self-perception domains according to gender, age and type of high school. Susan’s Harter Self – Perception Profile for Adolescents (1988), which contains nine sub-scales, was used in this study. Eight of them examine specific domains of self-perception and the last one examines global self-worth. The sample in this study consisted of 940 participants. In the sample were included 7th and 8th grade primary school students and 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade secondary school students. Generally, results have shown that adolescents have positive self-perception, especially in domains of close relationship and social acceptance. According to gender, adolescents have shown differences in six domains: male score higher results in athletic competence, physical appearance, and romantic appeal as well as in general self-worth, while female score higher results in a domain of close relationships and behavioural conduct. The main effect of age proved to be significant for the subscales of scholastic competence and romantic appeal, although only the oldest age group compared to the youngest showed lower scholastic competence and higher romantic appeal. According to school differences among secondary school students the results have shown that high school students have higher scholastic competence in comparison to students from vocational schools. In addition, male high school student have shown higher scholastic competence and global self-worth than female high school students.

1.3 Methodology:


To study the Self-Perception and Fear of Failure among adolescents.


To administer the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents and The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory to the subject. The responses of the subject are scored using the key and interpreted using the norms.


1.To identify the differences in the level of Self- Perception and Fear of Failure between the gender.
2.To study the relationship between Self- Perception and Fear of Failure among Adolescents.


1.”There is no statistically significant difference in the level of Self- Perception between the genders.”
2.”There is no statistically significant difference in the Fear of Failure between the genders.”
3. “There is no statistically significant relationship between Self- Perception and fear of failure among adolescents.”


Independent variable: Gender
Dependent variable: Self-perception and fear of failure.


The current study has used random sampling. The present study involved a sample of 30 adolescents, out of which 15 are females and 15 are males, belonging to an age range of 15-19.

The following table reveals the demographic details of the obtained distribution of the sample.
No. of subjects 30
Age 15-19
Gender 15-males;15-females


1.The Self- Perception Profile for Adolescents (Form-B) by Susan Harter (2012), containing 45 items and measuring the self- perception in nine different areas, Scholastic Competence, Social Competence, Athletic Competence, Physical Appearance, Job Competence, Romantic Appeal, Behavioural Conduct, Close Relationship and Global Self- Worth.

2.The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory by Conroy D.E, containing 25 items and measuring fear of failure in 5 areas, Fear of experiencing Shame and Embarrassment (FSE), Fear of Devaluing One’s Self-Estimate (FDSE), Fear of Having Uncertain Future (FUF), Fear of Important Others Losing Interest (FIOLI), Fear of Upsetting Important Others (FUIO) and General Fear of Failure.

3.Scoring key

4.Writing materials


The subject was seated comfortably and rapport was established in order to put the subject in ease. The Self- Perception Profile for Adolescents scale and The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory were presented to the subject. The instructions were given to the subject. The subjects were asked to read the question/ statement carefully and indicate his/her response clearly. There is no time limit to complete the scale. The experimenter can help the subject to understand the difficult statement. Once the subject has completed responding to all the items, the responses are scored statistically.


Here are some questions which you have to answer. There is no right or wrong answers because it is based on your views. Read the statements/questions carefully and answer honestly .You can take your own time to complete it, but usually it take 30 minutes to complete this test. In The Self- Perception Profile for Adolescents scale, read all the 45 statements and choose one of the two statements and put a cross on one of the options (sort of true for me/really true for me) which suits you the more. In The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory, read the statements carefully and choose one option from the 5-point scale (-2,-1, 0, 1, 2) which indicates your choice. Do not leave any item unanswered. All your responses will be kept confidential, so answer honestly and spontaneously.
?Analysis of the results:

1.In both the scales, the responses of the subject are scored using the keys and the total score is obtained for each factor.
2.The score for each factor and the total score in both the scales are scored statistically using t-test and Pearson’s product moment Correlation.


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