ERIC Number: ED210586
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Self-Presentational Reactions to Interpersonal Evaluations.
Silver, Starr E.; Schlenker, Barry R.
Research has found that individuals present themselves in a self-enhancing fashion when audiences lack information that could contradict their claims. To examine reactions to evaluations and the potential interplay between the valence of the evaluation, the public versus private nature of the response, and the audience to whom a public response is addressed, subjects received a positive or negative evaluation of their emotional maturity from a peer. Evaluations were based on subjects' answers to an emotional maturity test and were described as either more or less subjective in nature. The subjects then responded privately or to the evaluator or an observer. As hypothesized, subjects lowered their public self-ratings on evaluation-relevant attributes after receiving a negative evaluation, thereby maintaining consistency with publicly known facts and avoiding the risk of a public challenge. The effect was most pronounced when the reaction was seen by the evaluator, and the evaluation was objective. Private self-ratings on relevant attributes were not significantly affected by the valence of the evaluation. Contrary to expectations, subjects did not publicly compensate for a negative evaluation by presenting themselves more positively on irrelevant attributes. Subjects also derogated the negative evaluator in all conditions, even when the evaluator saw their assessment. The findings suggest that the conditions under which compensation occurs are not yet clear. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Self Presentations
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981). Best copy available.