social sciences



Self-presentation is the way in which we construct and present ourselves to others. Social perception is

the way in which we seek to know and understand other persons and events. This chapter describes in

detail the way in which we form impressions of other people, and the way we attempt to shape their

impressions of us; the way we assign causes to observed behavior and events, and the errors that

commonly occur as we do so. The chapter closes with a discussion of the functions that social-

perceptual errors may serve.

Learning Objectives

Understand how self-presentations can be consciously or unconsciously constructed.

Describe seven strategies for strategic self-presentation and give examples of each.

Understand causes of embarrassment and the use of making excuses.

Define self-handicapping, and distinguish between two types of self-handicapping.

Define the concept of self-monitoring, and explain how it differs from public self-consciousness.

List and summarize the types of social information communicated via the various channels of nonverbal


Understand the process and role of non-conscious mimicry.

Summarize the findings regarding culture, gender, and personality on nonverbal behavior.

List and describe the various theories that seek to explain how we form impressions of personality.

List and describe the various biasing factors that influence the process of personality judgment.

Define the attribution process, and explain when we are most likely to make attributions.

Contrast the covariation model of attribution with the theory of correspondent inference.

List and describe three major biases in the attribution process, and offer examples of each and the

purposes they fulfill.

Understand the relationship between effortful versus effortless attributional processes.

Explain the differences between individualist and collectivist patterns for attributing causes for


 Self-Presentations Are Either Consciously or Automatically Constructed and Monitored.

. Strategic self-presentations are conscious and deliberate attempts to shape others’ impressions in

order to achieve ulterior goals. Strategies include self-promotion, exemplification, modesty,

intimidation, supplication, sandbagging, and ingratiation.

Self-promotion represents strategies people use to give positive information about themselves. They

give this positive information in several ways. First, there is exemplification which is a self-presentation

designed to elicit perceptions of integrity and moral worthiness. At the same time that it arouses guilt

and emulation in others. Exemplifiers often come across as being absorbed by devotion to some cause

and suffering for the welfare of others. 

Modesty is a strategy used to underrepresent one’s positive

traits, contributions or accomplishments. Intimidation is a strategy where an individual will arouse fear

and gain power by convincing another person that they are powerful and dangerous. Supplication a

person advertises their weakness to get help or sympathy out of a sense of social obligation.

Sandbagging is a sly self-presentation strategy that initially appears to be supplication. Here, people

falsely claim or demonstrate to onlookers that they have poorer skills or abilities than they actually

possess. Ingratiation is when a person uses flattery towards us in order to get into our good graces.

Embarrassment is a common, unpleasant response that occurs when we believe others have a good

reason to detect a personal flaw.

2. Self-handicapping can provide an excuse even before a potential lapse. This strategy can protect self-

esteem and lower anxiety.

3. Motives for self-handicapping vary as a function of self-esteem level.

4. Self-handicapping can be done in two forms: self-reported and behavioral.

5. Men and women use different types of self-handicapping strategies

. Self-monitoring: the tendency to use cues from other people’s self-presentations in controlling one’s

own self-presentations.

2. High self-monitors are more attune to social cues, are more socially skilled, but have less committed

social relationships and tend to be more superficial in judgments of others when compared with low


3. Self-monitoring differs from public self-consciousness

Self-monitoring refers to the ability to actively change behaviors to meet social expectations.

Public self-consciousness refers to being concerned about how one appears to others, but that concern

may not translate into an effective response.

Motives of high self-monitors are similar to those with high self-esteem; motives for high public self-

consciousness are similar to those with low self-esteem

1. Do people differ in using nonverbal cues?

Related Questions in social sciences category

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