Misguided Self-Presentation: The Ironic Consequences of Humblebragging, Backhanded Compliments and Namedropping
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AbstractThe ability to present oneself effectively to others is one of the most essential skills in social and organizational life. In this research, I identify unexamined yet ubiquitous self-presentation strategies—humblebragging, backhanded compliments and namedropping—that people use in an effort to manage the delicate balancing act of self-presentation. Using datasets from social media and diary studies, I document the ubiquity of these strategies in real life across several domains. In laboratory and field experiments, I simultaneously examine the underlying motives for these self-presentation strategies and others’ perceptions of these strategies—allowing for an analysis of their efficacy—as assessed by the opinions targets hold of the would-be self-presenter. I provide evidence from both lab and field to show that humblebragging, backhanded compliments and namedropping backfire, because they are seen as insincere and as reflective of a concern with one’s self-image.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40046523
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