Self-awareness, psychological perspective, and self-reinforcement in relation to personal and social standards

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Abstract

Assessed whether Ss would be more likely to judge their own behavior from a social perspective when they were self-aware than when they were not self-aware. 48 undergraduates reinforced themselves after receiving feedback about a performance task that indicated they had surpassed their own standard, a social standard, both standards, or neither standard. Ss did not alter their reinforcement as a function of the self-awareness manipulation when they surpassed both standards or neither standard. However, when Ss learned that they had surpassed their own standard but not the social standard, they rewarded themselves significantly more (p < .01) and felt more satisfied with their performance (p < .01) when they were non-self-aware. When Ss surpassed the social standard but not the personal standard, they reinforced themselves significantly more (p < .01) and felt more satisfied (p < .01) when self-aware. It was also found that self-awareness decreased feelings of choice in administering self-reinforcement (p < .001). The possibility that self-awareness may create a social perspective from which one's own behavior is evaluated is discussed. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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