Is Accurate, Positive, or Inflated Self-Perception Most Advantageous for Psychological Adjustment? A Competitive Test of Key Hypotheses

Autor(en): Humberg, Sarah
Dufner, Michael
Schoenbrodt, Felix D.
Geukes, Katharina
Hutteman, Roos
Kuefner, Albrecht C. P.
van Zalk, Maarten H. W. 
Denissen, Jaap J. A.
Nestler, Steffen
Back, Mitja D.
Stichwörter: AIC MODEL SELECTION; BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY; ENHANCEMENT BIAS; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; information-theoretic approach; intelligence self-views; KNOW THYSELF; LENS MODEL; MULTIMODEL INFERENCE; OPTIMAL MARGIN; Psychology; Psychology, Social; R PACKAGE; REGRESSION-ANALYSIS; response surface analysis; self-enhancement; self-knowledge
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Volumen: 116
Ausgabe: 5
Startseite: 835
Seitenende: 859
Empirical research on the (mal-) adaptiveness of favorable self-perceptions, self-enhancement, and self-knowledge has typically applied a classical null-hypothesis testing approach and provided mixed and even contradictory findings. Using data from 5 studies (laboratory and field, total N = 2,823), we used an information-theoretic approach combined with Response Surface Analysis to provide the first competitive test of 6 popular hypotheses: that more favorable self-perceptions are adaptive versus maladaptive (Hypotheses 1 and 2: Positivity of self-view hypotheses), that higher levels of self-enhancement (i.e., a higher discrepancy of self-viewed and objectively assessed ability) are adaptive versus maladaptive (Hypotheses 3 and 4: Self-enhancement hypotheses), that accurate self-perceptions are adaptive (Hypothesis 5: Self-knowledge hypothesis), and that a slight degree of self-enhancement is adaptive (Hypothesis 6: Optimal margin hypothesis). We considered self-perceptions and objective ability measures in two content domains (reasoning ability, vocabulary knowledge) and investigated 6 indicators of intra-and interpersonal psychological adjustment. Results showed that most adjustment indicators were best predicted by the positivity of self-perceptions. There were some specific self-enhancement effects, and evidence generally spoke against the self-knowledge and optimal margin hypotheses. Our results highlight the need for comprehensive and simultaneous tests of competing hypotheses. Implications for the understanding of underlying processes are discussed.
ISSN: 00223514
DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000204

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