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On the Convergence of Public and Private Aspects of Self

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)

Abstract

This chapter deals with some issues concerning the correspondence of the self one presents to others and what one believes to be “true” of the self. That is, we are concerned with the discrepancy between what Baumeister and Tice (Chapter 3, this volume) call the public self and the self-concept. Our interest in these issues stems from a theory of social behavior known as the self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model. First, we briefly describe the model and its implications for views of the self. Then we review a test of the model that raises the question of whether the predicted (and obtained) changes in the self represent changes in the public self (with the goal of creating a particular impression) or changes in the self-concept (with the goal of private self-evaluation maintenance). A couple of studies designed to address this question suggest that one’s public self and one’s self-concept tend to be similar. In the second half of the chapter we examine some reasons why the self-concept and the public self tend to converge. The convergence may be due to the potential of being found out when presenting a false, favorable public self, information overloads, the self-concept constraining the public self, the public self constraining the self-concept, and third factors constraining both the public self and the self-concept in similar ways.

Keywords

Cognitive Load Cognitive Dissonance Impression Management Experimental Social Psychology Positive Impression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

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