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Self-improvement

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This article approaches the topic of improvement from a self-evaluation perspective, namely the interplay between the self-improvement motive and social or evaluative feedback. The self-improvement motive is reflected in conscious desire. It is also reflected in preferences for continuous upward feedback trajectories, upward comparison feedback, and feedback that may be self-threatening in the present but is likely to be useful in the future. The last type of feedback preference is stronger following a resource-bolstering experience (e.g., good mood, success feedback, self-affirmation). Moreover, both direct and indirect activation of the self-improvement motive facilitates recall of improvement-oriented feedback. Such feedback is associated with increased satisfaction or positive affect, a pattern qualified by individual differences (e.g., self-esteem, self-theories). Finally, improvement-oriented feedback yields better performance, a pattern also qualified by individual differences (e.g., self-enhancement, self-appraisal) as well as feedback attributes (gradual versus sudden). This territory-mapping review will hopefully prove useful to future theorizing and research.

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Citation

Sedikides, Constantine and Hepper, Erica G.D. (2009) Self-improvement Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, (6), pp. 899-917. (doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2009.00231.x).

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Published date: December 2009

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Local EPrints ID: 142051
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/142051
PURE UUID: ed7e3697-a4b2-4862-a747-8391e5c69f80

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2010 13:46
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:12

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