The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The hubris hypothesis: you can self-enhance, but you'd better not show it

Record type: Article

We tested whether and why observers dislike individuals who convey self-superiority through blatant social comparison (the hubris hypothesis). Participants read self-superiority claims (“I am better than others”; Experiments 1–7), noncomparative positive claims (“I am good”; Experiments 1–2, 4), self-equality claims (“I am as good as others”; Experiments 3–4, 6), temporally comparative self-superiority claims (“I am better than I used to be”; Experiment 5), other-superiority claims (“S/he is better than others”; Experiment 6), and self-superiority claims accompanied by persistent disclaimers (Experiment 7). They judged the claim and the claimant (Experiments 1–7) and made inferences about the claimant's self-view and view of others (Experiments 4–7) as well as the claimant's probable view of them (Experiment 7). Self-superiority claims elicited unfavorable evaluations relative to all other claims. Evaluation unfavorability was accounted for by the perception that the claimant implied a negative view of others (Experiments 4–6) and particularly of the observer (Experiment 7). Supporting the hubris hypothesis, participants disliked individuals who communicated self-superiority beliefs in an explicitly comparative manner. Self-superiority beliefs may provoke undesirable interpersonal consequences when they are explicitly communicated to others but not when they are disguised as noncomparative positive self-claims or self-improvement claims

Microsoft Word Hoorens_Pandelaere_Oldersma_Sedikides_2012,_JOPY.doc - Author's Original
Download (278kB)


Hoorens, Vera, Pandelaere, Mario, Oldersma, Frans and Sedikides, Constantine (2012) The hubris hypothesis: you can self-enhance, but you'd better not show it Journal of Personality, 80, (5), pp. 1237-1274. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00759.x).

More information

Published date: 25 September 2012


Local EPrints ID: 343226
ISSN: 0022-3506
PURE UUID: 12fba149-95af-42cd-af70-ca9a19897fbc

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Oct 2012 08:37
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:23

Export record



Author: Vera Hoorens
Author: Mario Pandelaere
Author: Frans Oldersma

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.