‘Self ’ and ‘self-concept’ are used interchangeably to refer to an individual’s overall self-awareness.


‘The self is the individual as known to the individual’. (Murphy, 1947)

Burns (1980) defines it as ‘the set of attitudes a person holds towards himself’.

According to Leary (2004), the self is a cognitive structure that permits self-reflection and organizes information about oneself.

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Self-presentation is how we perceive ourselves whether that be in front of others or alone.

Self-presentation is behaviour that attempts to convey some information about oneself or some image of oneself to other people.

Self-presentation is the set of method and strategies, we use selectively to apply in the situation to shape and enhance or to change our self-image to others.

It can be conscious or unconscious.

Self-presentation strategies

Strategic self-presentation- the process of constructing and presenting the self in order to shape other people’s impressions and achieve ulterior goals.

Example –Image, we put on social media sites. we choose it carefully.

Self-presentations can become automatic with practice. Not being able to project an appropriately presented self causes embarrassment.  These presented self rarely judged as harshly as we think.

Thus Social acceptance is a very strong motive. We want to appear friendly, likeable, and honest. We are less concerned about appearing competent and intelligent.

There are seven different strategies with different goals.

  1. Ingratiation

Edward E. Jones, Ingratiation is a psychological technique in which an individual attempt to influence another person by becoming more likeable to their target. We try to shapes other’s impression through flattery. It increases the recipient’s self-esteem. This is the most common self-presentation strategy.

There are 3 types –

    1. Acquisitive ingratiation: Goal of obtaining something from others.
    2. Protective Ingratiation: To prevent possible negative consequences
    3. Significance ingratiation: To cultivate respect/approval from others, rather than an explicit reward.

Example –Towards Boss, a salesperson will appreciate our choice to get the tip.

  1. Modesty –

Under representing own positive traits, contributions, or accomplishments to be humbler.  Moderating the estimation of one’s own abilities, sometimes seen as self-deprecation.

Very effective in increasing likeability.

Preserves high levels of perceived competence and honesty.

Women do it more frequently with greater effect.

Limitation – it is only effective when others are aware of an individual’s accomplishments.

  1. Self-promotion –

Self-promotion conveyance of positive information through one’s behaviour or by telling others about once positive asset and accomplishment.

Desire to be respected for intelligence and competence.

Commonly during work-related interactions.

used more frequently by men.

  1. Exemplification –

 A strategy for self-presentation that involves inducing other people to regard one as a highly moral, virtuous person whose actions are consistent with positive, shared values.

This strategy is used to elicit the perception of integrity and moral worthiness while arousing guild and ammunition in others.

A person can accomplish exemplification by presenting him- or herself as honest, disciplined, self-sacrificing, generous, or principled.

The individual appears absorbed by devotion to some cause and suffers from the welfare of others

Can foster strong loyalty and group cohesion.

Others might feel inadequate in the face of their own shortcomings

Example- Sending coworker home whiling doing work alone.

  1. Intimidation-

An individual produces fear and gains power by convincing others they are powerful and/ or dangerous.

It can be overt or covert.

Example – direct threat or implied threat.

  1. Supplication–

Advertise the weakness or dependence, hoping the solicit help for sympathy out of a sense of social obligation.

Example homeless asking money to strangers.

Limitation- the people tend to blame the victim believing suffering is self-inflicted or judge an individual as poorly functioning.

7 Self-Handicapping–

An individual creates an obstacle to his or her own performance.

        • to provide an excuse for failure
        • to enhance the success

Most likely use when being evaluated on skills or attributes Central to self-concept.

2 types –

    1. Self-reported handicapping

Complaining about illness or stress-induced ailment to engage in a task, work, exam etc.

It will provide an excuse for failure without hampering the performance. It can increase performance by lowering expectations does reducing anxiety.

Both men and women use.

2. Behavioural self-handicapping-

Not adequately preparing for a task or by using drugs or alcohol to inhabit performance for work.

Men use it more usually than women; Possibly because men are more competitive and driven by public standards in performance situations.

The danger with this strategy is people can perceive you as lazy or unmotivated.

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