Crab Mentality among High School Students: Implications for School Psychologists| P 62-66

Muskan Gumber and Aditi Ashok Arur
CHRIST University, Bengaluru


Crab mentality is a metaphorical representation of attitudes and actions associated
with pulling one another down in order to not let anyone attain success and recognition.
This qualitative study aimed to explore the phenomenon of crab mentality among high
school students and the role of school cultures in influencing this construct. Constructivist
grounded theory approach was followed and purposive sampling was used. Data was
collected from 4 teachers and 8 students in 2 different schools using video-based
interviews. The findings emerged after employing grounded theory analysis reveal that
crab mentality occurs in various forms like manipulating, bullying, invalidating, etc.;
and indicate how lack of equal opportunities for participation in schools, favouritism by
teachers, and so on, may influence this occurrence. Drawing from self-determination
theory, the findings suggest that autonomy, competence and relatedness influence
crab mentality. While schools may promote building competence through competitive
practices, further contributing to academic excellence; these inadvertently affect the
building of autonomy and relatedness and in a way contribute to crab mentality. The
study has various implications for school psychologists to understand the phenomenon
of crab mentality, explore its causes and consequences, control its manifestation and
replace it with alternative and appropriate behaviours.
Keywords: crab mentality, crab in the barrel syndrome, crab effect, competition, school

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *