Relational Self-verification through Self-presentation: Implications for Perceptions of One's Honesty and Authenticity

Michael W. Kraus, Serena Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When a significant-other representation is activated, the goal to be known and understood by others-that is, self-verified-is automatically elicited, leading people to desire appraisals from others that verify their pre-existing relational self-conceptions (Kraus & Chen, 2009). The present study tested whether activating a significant-other representation would lead people to engage in behaviors designed to obtain self-verification-namely, presenting themselves in a self-verifying manner to others. Relative to their self-descriptions for a control website, when presenting themselves on a website focused on significant-other relationships participants were more likely to describe themselves in a manner consistent with how they had previously described their relational self. Moreover, participants' self-descriptions for the significant-other website, relative to the control website, were rated higher in honesty and authenticity by independent judges. Long-term consequences of pursuing self-verification goals for the relational self and for one's honesty and authenticity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalSelf and Identity
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Relational self
  • Self-concept
  • Self-evaluative goals
  • Self-verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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