Reconceptualizing Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement Bias

An Interpersonal Approach

Sau Kwan, David A. Kenny, Oliver P. John, Michael H. Bond, Richard W. Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Self-enhancement bias has been studied from 2 perspectives: L. Festinger's (1954) social comparison theory (self-enhancers perceive themselves more positively than they perceive others) and G. W. Allport's (1937) self-insight theory (self-enhancers perceive themselves more positively than they are perceived by others). These 2 perspectives are theoretically and empirically distinct, and the failure to recognize their differences has led to a protracted debate. A new interpersonal approach to self-enhancement decomposes self-perception into 3 components: perceiver effect, target effect, and unique self-perception. Both theoretical derivations and an illustrative study suggest that this resulting measure of self-enhancement is less confounded by unwanted components of interpersonal perception than previous social comparison and self-insight measures. Findings help reconcile conflicting views about whether self-enhancement is adaptive or maladaptive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-110
Number of pages17
JournalPsychological Review
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Self Concept
Individuality
Social Perception
Social Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Reconceptualizing Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement Bias : An Interpersonal Approach. / Kwan, Sau; Kenny, David A.; John, Oliver P.; Bond, Michael H.; Robins, Richard W.

In: Psychological Review, Vol. 111, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 94-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kwan, Sau ; Kenny, David A. ; John, Oliver P. ; Bond, Michael H. ; Robins, Richard W. / Reconceptualizing Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement Bias : An Interpersonal Approach. In: Psychological Review. 2004 ; Vol. 111, No. 1. pp. 94-110.
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