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Uncovering the multifaceted-self in the domain of negative traits: On the muted expression of negative self-knowledge

Record type: Article

The multifaceted-self effect is the ascription of more traits to self than others. Consensus is that this effect occurs for positive, but not negative, traits. We propose that the effect also occurs for negative traits when they can be endorsed with low intensity ("I am a little bit lazy"), thereby circumventing self-protection concerns. In Experiment 1, the multifaceted-self effect occurred for positive, but not negative, traits on a high-intensity trait-endorsement measure. However, it occurred irrespective of trait valence on a low-intensity trait-endorsement measure. In Experiment 2, the multifaceted-self effect occurred for positive, but not negative, traits on a strong trait-endorsement measure. However, it occurred irrespective of trait valence on a diminuted trait-endorsement measure-a finding conceptually replicated in Experiment 3. In Experiment 4, participants spontaneously adopted diminutive terms ("a little bit") when describing their negative traits. Individuals reconcile negative self-knowledge with self-protection concerns by expressing it in muted terms

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Citation

Cheung, Wing-Yee, Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine and Pinter, Brad (2014) Uncovering the multifaceted-self in the domain of negative traits: On the muted expression of negative self-knowledge Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, (4), pp. 513-525. (doi:10.1177/0146167213518224). (PMID:24398541).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 December 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 January 2014
Published date: 19 March 2014
Keywords: self, self-knowledge, multifaceted-self, self-enhancement, self-protection
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364482
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364482
ISSN: 0146-1672
PURE UUID: 2cbb508e-ef7e-4ad0-990c-ef950dc8887c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 May 2014 12:03
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:31

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Contributors

Author: Wing-Yee Cheung
Author: Tim Wildschut
Author: Brad Pinter

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