Self-Liking, Self-Competence, and the Quest for Self-Verification

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Whereas past researchers have assumed that global feelings of self-worth guide people’s feedback-seeking activities, the authors propose that people’s more specific feelings of self-liking and self-competence are crucial in this domain. The authors found that only self-liking predicted perceived accuracy of and choice of feedback designed to bear on global, low self-esteem. In contrast, self-liking and self-competence each related uniquely to perceived accuracy of and choice of feedback that was designed specifically to target these self-views. Moreover, the data suggest that the relations between self-views and feedback preferences are mediated by people’s perceptions of the accuracy of feedback. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for a growing understanding of the dual components of self-esteem and for refining the methodologies used in feedback-seeking and self-esteem research.

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Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, v. 25, issue 10, p. 1230-1241