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Self-Presentation

  • By: Meredith Terry, Kate Sweeny & James A. Shepperd
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Self-presentation refers to how people attempt to present themselves to control or shape how others (called the audience) view them. It involves expressing oneself and behaving in ways that create a desired impression. Self-presentation is part of a broader set of behaviors called impression management. Impression management refers to the controlled presentation of information about all sorts of things, including information about other people or events. Self-presentation refers specifically to information about the self.

History and Modern Usage

Early work on impression management focused on its manipulative, inauthentic uses that might typify a used car salesperson who lies to sell a car, or someone at a job interview who embellishes accomplishments to get a job. However, researchers now think of selfpresentation more broadly as a pervasive aspect ...

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