ERIC Number: ED245156
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Social Reality on Self-Symbolizing.
Gollwitzer, Peter M.; Mendez, Roque
Symbolic self-completion theory postulates that an individual experiencing a shortcoming in one symbolic dimension of a self-defined goal will emphasize an alternative symbolic dimension; these compensatory efforts are considered self-symbolizing. To test this hypothesis two studies were conducted using college females committed either to raising a family (N=47) or to a professional career (N=46). Subjects were encouraged to engage in self-descriptions supportive of their aspirations/self-definitions. These self-descriptions either were noticed by another or remained unnoticed. In an additional third condition, subjects were made to believe that another person would eventually take notice of their self-symbolizing. Finally, subjects were asked to describe their personality compared to the personality of successful people in their self-definitional realm. An analysis of the results showed that social reality moderated subjects subsequent claims of self-definitional potential. Actual and expected social reality subjects reported higher dissimilarity than no social reality subjects. These findings suggest that self-symbolizing noticed by another person leads to a stronger self-definitional completeness than unnoticed self-symbolizing. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Self Completion Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Philadelphia, PA, April 6-9, 1983).