Conceptualizing and Assessing Self-Enhancement Bias: A Componential Approach

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Abstract

Four studies implemented a componential approach to assessing self-enhancement and contrasted this approach with 2 earlier ones: social comparison (comparing self-ratings with ratings of others) and self-insight (comparing self-ratings with ratings by others). In Study 1, the authors varied the traits being rated to identify conditions that lead to more or less similarity between approaches. In Study 2, the authors examined the effects of acquaintance on the conditions identified in Study 1. In Study 3, the authors showed that using rankings renders the self-insight approach equivalent to the component-based approach but also has limitations in assessing self-enhancement. In Study 4, the authors compared the social-comparison and the component-based approaches in terms of their psychological implications; the relation between self-enhancement and adjustment depended on the self-enhancement approach used, and the positive-adjustment correlates of the social-comparison approach disappeared when the confounding influence of the target effect was controlled.

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