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Look at me, I'm happy and creative: The effect of impression management on behavior in social presence.

Authors
  • Uziel, Liad
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2010
Volume
36
Issue
12
Pages
1591–1602
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167210386239
PMID: 20956356
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The present research tested competing approaches to individual differences in impression management (as measured with social desirability scales) and their implication for behavior in social contexts. A defensiveness approach argues that impression management is a source of defensive self-presentation, which causes performance impairment in public social settings. The competing adjustment approach argues that impression management measures friendliness and self-control, which should bring about performance facilitation in public social settings. To decide between these approaches, two experiments utilized a social facilitation paradigm, whereby task performance was compared between an alone and a public condition. The results supported the predictions of the adjustment approach. Across different tasks, a high impression management score was associated with performance facilitation in social presence, expressed in greater creativity, positive implicit affect, and high self-control. The results reveal previously unnoticed constructive effects of impression management, supporting the reframing of the trait as reflecting interpersonally oriented self-control.

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