chapter  14
Construct Accessibility and Interpretation of Self-Behaviors: Tracing and Reducing the Signatures of Self-Protection and Self- Enhancement
Pages 20

O ther-evaluation can be neutral or driven solely by accuracy concerns (Malle, Guglielmo, & Monroe; Semin & Garrido; Wänke, Samochowiec, & Landwehr, this volume), but self-evaluation rarely is. Instead, self-evaluation is guided by motives, of which the most prominent are self-protection and self-enhancement. Self-protection refers to avoiding, minimizing, misinterpreting, or discarding information that has unfavorable implications for the self. Selfenhancement, on the other hand, refers to pursuing, magnifying, overinterpreting, or fully endorsing information that has favorable implications for the self (Alicke & Sedikides, 2009; Sedikides & Gregg, 2003, 2008; Sedikides & Strube, 1997.)

The self-protection motive and the self-enhancement motive manifest themselves through a large repertoire of cognitions, emotions, and behaviors (Alicke

& Sedikides, 2011; see also Cooper; von Hippel, this volume). In a comprehensive literature review, Hepper, Gramzow, and Sedikides (2010) identified 60 major selfenhancement/self-protection strivings. These authors then created a questionnaire that represented the strivings and asked participants to judge how characteristic or typical each striving was of them. For example, to operationalize the better-thanaverage striving (Alicke & Govorun, 2005), participants were asked to imagine “thinking of yourself as generally possessing positive traits or abilities to a greater extent than most people do” and subsequently to rate how characteristic this striving was of them.