Allport ( 1937 ) : A Self Enhancement Theory

899 Words Nov 4th, 2015 4 Pages
Allport (1937) proposed a self-enhancement theory - an idea that there exists a vital and universal human need to view oneself positively. According to Campbell and Sedikides (1999) people desire to increase the positivity and reduce the negativity of the self-concept. Tesser (1988) developed the Self-Evaluation Maintenance (SEM) Model, predicting that people prefer to maintain a positive self-evaluation and be seen more positively than they truly are. Tesser also proposed that basic SEM model has three components: closeness and association between people, performance, and relevance. All of the components can have an impact and lead to either a positive or negative self-evaluation. This idea was later supported by more evidence and numerous studies (Jones, 1973; Tesser & Moore, 1990; Leary, 2007). However, other theorists opposed and suggested that people want to be seen accurately (Lecky, 1945; Goffman, 1955; Swann, 1983). Swann (1983) proposed a self-verification theory, which hypothesises that people prefer others to see them as they see themselves – a desire for stable self-views. This even applies when people’s self-views happen to be negative while self-enhancement theory predicts that people with negative self-views will prefer positive over negative evaluations.
There is a controversy between theories of how people prefer to be perceived by others: accurately or flatteringly. This experiment will examine whether the people tend to prefer an accurate, flattering or…
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