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Self-enhancement and self-protection: what they are and what they do

Alicke, Mark D. and Sedikides, Constantine (2009) Self-enhancement and self-protection: what they are and what they do European Review of Social Psychology, 20, (1), pp. 1-48.

Record type: Article


We define self-enhancement and self-protection as interests that individuals have in advancing one or more self-domains or defending against negative self-views. We review ways in which people pursue self-enhancement and self-protection, discuss the role of these motivational constructs in scientific explanations, argue for their importance in maintaining psychological and physical well-being, and consider the conditions in which they are likely to operate. At various points, we address the perennial “cognition-motivation” debate. We argue that, despite the conceptual and practical difficulties that attend this distinction, the pervasiveness of the self-enhancement and self-protection motives makes it impossible and imprudent to ignore them in explaining self-related findings and theories.

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Published date: February 2009
Organisations: Human Wellbeing


Local EPrints ID: 66032
ISSN: 1046-3283
PURE UUID: 08c6f7b0-cbeb-44a7-81ce-35036a80998b

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Date deposited: 22 Apr 2009
Last modified: 30 Aug 2017 14:55

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Author: Mark D. Alicke

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