Tactical Self-Presentation After Success and Failure

by David J Schneider
Journal of personality and social psychology ()
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An experiment was performed to explore the effects of success and failure on self-presentation where another person was either in a position to give the subject an evaluation based on his presentation (feedback) or could not give the subject any information about his self-presentation (no feedback). As predicted the failure subjects were more positive about themselves under the feedback condition than under no feedback (p < .01), presumably in an effort to get approval from the other person, and the success subjects were more modest under the feedback than under the no-feedback condition (p < .10), presumably in an effort to conserve their tentative high self-evaluations by not appearing too immodest. Subsequent analyses showed that some of the failure subjects responded with positive self-presentations to get approval while others seemed to evidence what Cohen has called defensive self-esteem.

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