It is an exaggeration to say that self-enhancement is the dominant self motive. Many controversies exist regarding the distinction between the self-motives, and there are situations in which motives asides from self-enhancement assume priority.
- The self-assessment motive is often contrasted with the self-enhancement motive due to the relative adaptiveness of each approach within social interactions.
- The self-verification motive is often challenged by supporters of the self-enhancement as being unfeasible as it often appears implausible.
- The self-improvement motive is often taken to be the physical manifestation of the self-enhancement motive i.e. the act of attaining desired positive self views.
Where the truth about oneself worsens or varies it gradually becomes less feasible to satisfy all motives simultaneously.
In an attempt to compare the self-evaluation motives (excluding self-improvement) a self-reflection task was employed. Participants were asked to choose the question they would most likely ask themselves in order to determine whether they possessed a certain personality trait. On the whole, people self-enhanced more than they self-assessed or self-verified. People chose higher diagnosticity questions concerning central, positive traits than central, negative ones, and answered yes more often to central, positive than negative questions. Also, people self-verified more than the self-assessed, and chose more questions overall concerning relatively certain central traits than relatively uncertain peripheral traits.
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Famous quotes containing the word motives:
“The parallel between antifeminism and race prejudice is striking. The same underlying motives appear to be at work, namely fear, jealousy, feelings of insecurity, fear of economic competition, guilt feelings, and the like. Many of the leaders of the feminist movement in the nineteenth-century United States clearly understood the similarity of the motives at work in antifeminism and race discrimination and associated themselves with the anti slavery movement.”
—Ashley Montagu (b. 1905)
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