People engage in self-enhancement whenever they seek, interpret, or distort evidence about themselves in a way designed to maintain, create, or amplify a positive self-image. Self-enhancement is cognitive or interpersonal activity aimed at boosting beliefs that one is a lovable and capable human being. A related concept is motivated reasoning, which is thought that is expressly aimed at reaching congenial conclusions about one's self and place in the world.

Self-enhancement needs to be distinguished from other similar activities that people may engage in. Self-improvement refers to the motive to become a better individual in reality; self-enhancement instead refers to the motive to create the perception that one is a competent and capable individual, regardless of reality. Self-assessment refers to the motive to obtain an accurate view ...

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