Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model

  • Anne WilsonEmail author
  • Sarah L. Williams
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1174-1


The self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model is a theoretical framework describing the process by which individuals maintain or increase their positive self-evaluation, or self-regard, in interpersonal contexts, through reflection, and through comparison.


The self-evaluation maintenance (SEM) model is a theoretical framework describing the processes by which individuals’ self-evaluation, or self-regard, is affected by others’ performance in interpersonal contexts. The SEM model predicts that the accomplishments of the people surrounding an individual may affect that individual’s self-regard in two ways: through reflection (which boosts self-regard by association with the superior other), and through comparison (which decreases self-regard in contrast to the superior other). The relative likelihood of each of these two processes is determined by a combination of three variables: the psychological closeness of one’s comparison target, the quality of performanceof...

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  1. Campbell, J. D., & Tesser, A. (1985). Self-evaluation maintenance processes in relationships. In S. Duck & D. Perlman (Eds.), Understanding personal relationships: An interdisciplinary approach (pp. 107–135). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Tesser, A. (1988). Toward a self-evaluation maintenance model of social behavior. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 21, pp. 181–228). New York: Academic.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada