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

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).


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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

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00759.x
ISSNs: 0022-3506 (print)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ePrint ID: 343226
Date :
Date Event
25 September 2012Published
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 08:37
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 16:35
Further Information:Google Scholar

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