Self-Presentational Effort in Face-Threatening Situations: Self-Worth and Publicity of Negative Information
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Other-provided information reduces individuals' control over optimal self-presentation and causes threats to one's public image. This dissertation examines how academic competence and virtue-based contingencies of self-worth (CSW), and the publicity of negative other-provided information, affect individuals' effort to restore impaired public images following negative other-provided information. Two between-group experiments were conducted, both offline (phase 1, N = 144) and online (phase 2, N = 204). Results from phase 1 showed main effects of academic competence-based CSW and publicity of negative other-provided information on effort to restore academic competence-related public images. Trait self-esteem moderated the relationship between virtue-based CSW and effort to restore virtue-related public images such that virtue-based CSW was positively related to effort to restore virtue-related public images only among those with low trait self-esteem. Post-hoc analysis of phase 2 data showed main effects of others' approval-based CSW (i.e. staking self-esteem other people's approval) and publicity of negative other-provided information on negative affect and individuals' effort to restore their public image. An interaction effect between others' approval-based CSW and trait self-esteem on negative affect was also found such that others' approval-based CSW was positively related to negative affect only among those with high trait self-esteem. These results generate implications for more comprehensive understanding of CSW, trait self-esteem, self-presentation, audience variables, and the role technology plays in these processes.