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. (doi:10.1080/10463280802613866).


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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.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/10463280802613866
ISSNs: 1046-3283 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ePrint ID: 66032
Date :
Date Event
February 2009Published
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2009
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 21:46
Further Information:Google Scholar

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