Misguided Self-Presentation: The Ironic Consequences of Humblebragging, Backhanded Compliments and Namedropping
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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