Two studies were conducted to examine the importance of the tactic used in presenting a favorable self-image (denying negative characteristics vs. attributing positive characteristics) and to examine the perceived audience of the self-presentation (internal vs. external) on responses to self-report personality items. In the first study, 60 items were administered under low or high conditions of identifiability. None of the items were found to be sensitive to the identifiability manipulation, which suggested that none of these items could be identified as being particularly sensitive to external audience concerns. In the second study, confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the process of attributing positive characteristics to the self is somewhat independent from the process of denying negative characteristics. Self-esteem was positively correlated with the tendency to unrealistically attribute positive traits to the self, and self-conscious persons were less likely to unrealistically deny negative characteristics. These findings suggest that the process of attributing positive characteristics to the self is different from the process of denying negative traits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science