ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (6): 883-895.

• 研究前沿 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Pros and Cons of Self-Enhancement: Theory, Empirical Research, and Application

LIU Xiao-Cen;SANG Biao;DOU Dong-Hui   

  1. (1 College of Education, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China)
    (2 School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China)
    (3 Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)
  • Received:2011-01-01 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2011-06-15 Published:2011-06-15
  • Contact: SANG Bia

Abstract: Self-enhancement by motivating to pursue a positive self-image has received much attention across different disciplines of psychology. Evolutionary psychologists believe that self-enhancement has evolved as an adaptation for complex human social interactions. However, social psychologists have more mixed views about the psychological functions of self-enhancement. These are shown in three leading social psychological explanations, including interference of moderators theory, the ecological analog theory, and multidimensional and multifunctional model of self-criticism and self-enhancement. Clinical and counseling psychologists have also proposed ways to promote adaptive self-enhancement in psychotherapy by taking advantage of the pros and avoiding the cons of self-enhancement. These different self-enhancement theories and practices are reviewed with suggestions for further research especially in cross-cultural and developmental psychology.

Key words: self-enhancement, adaption, self-motive, evolutionary psychology, clinical application