Social Self-Analysis. Constructing, Protecting, and Enhancing the Self

Mark D. Alicke, Ethan Zell, Corey L. Guenther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Social self-analysis is the process by which people use comparison information to define and modify their self-concepts or identity images. Self-concepts are beliefs about one's abilities, attitudes, emotions, and behavior tendencies that range from relatively concrete to abstract in a self-knowledge hierarchy. Comparison information includes contrasting one's own task and social feedback with others' or with past and future states of one's own or others'. We use an analogy with psychometric test theory to highlight the features of social self-analysis and view these comparisons as comparison tests that people encounter or conduct to assess their self-concepts. Comparison test feedback is assessed for its reliability, validity, and generalizability and is abstracted to low- to high-level self-concepts. Accurate translation from comparison test feedback to self-concepts is hindered by the absence of adequate comparison samples, the tendency to eschew large-scale comparison data for local comparisons (what we call " local dominance" ), and by the desire to construct and maintain favorable identity images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-234
Number of pages62
JournalAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Self-Analysis. Constructing, Protecting, and Enhancing the Self'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this