Why People Self Verify

  • Swann W
  • Stein-Seroussi A
  • Giesler R
  • 45

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Abstract

Why do people choose interaction partners who see them as they see themselves? Self-verification theorists propose that a desire to bolster perceptions of predictability and control underlies such activities. In contrast, advocates of positivity strivings argue that people choose such interaction partners in the hope of making themselves feel good. Two studies tested these competing explanations by examining the spontaneous verbalizations of participants as they chose interaction partners. The results suggested that positivity as well as self-verification strivings caused participants with positive self-views to choose partners who appraised them favorably. The epistemic considerations underlying self-verification processes, however, best explained why people with negative self-views chose partners who appraised them unfavorably.

Author-supplied keywords

  • CONSISTENCY
  • ENHANCEMENT
  • ESTEEM
  • FORMS
  • IDENTITY
  • PERCEPTION
  • VERIFICATION

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Authors

  • William B. Swann

  • Alan Stein-Seroussi

  • R. Brian Giesler

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