Positive Illusory Bias and Self-Handicapping in Adults with ADHD: A Scoping Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Research and Clinical Practice
Adults, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Positive illusory bias, Self-handicapping, Self-worth
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Adults with ADHD may engage in two distinct but related social-cognitive processes: positive illusory bias (PIB) and self-handicapping (SH). A theoretical basis for these mechanisms in ADHD is provided through the self-worth theory of achievement motivation. These mechanisms may initially serve a self-protective function, but ultimately lead to negative outcomes. However, research in this area is limited, and most of what is known about PIB and SH is not specific to adults with ADHD. We conducted a scoping review of the extant literature of PIB and SH among adults with ADHD. Eight studies were reviewed (six PIB and two SH). Results suggest that adults with ADHD may be more likely to engage in PIB and SH than their non-ADHD peers, and that engaging in these patterns may lead to worsened outcomes over time. The findings are limited by a small number of studies with varying sampling, operational definitions, and measures. Recommendations for research and clinical work are provided, including considering various ways to operationalize PIB and SH, investigating the impact of PIB and SH on assessment reporting style (i.e., under- versus over-reporting), and considering the role of PIB and SH in the treatment of ADHD in adults.
Department of Psychology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Abu-Ramadan, Tamara M.; Lefler, Elizabeth K.; Knouse, Laura E.; and Hartung, Cynthia M., "Positive Illusory Bias and Self-Handicapping in Adults with ADHD: A Scoping Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Research and Clinical Practice" (2023). Faculty Publications. 5453.