, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 185-198
Date: 21 Jan 2014

Implicit Self-Importance in an Interpersonal Pronoun Categorization Task

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Object relations theories emphasize the manner in which the salience/importance of implicit representations of self and other guide interpersonal functioning. Two studies and a pilot test (total N = 304) sought to model such representations. In dyadic contexts, the self is a “you” and the other is a “me”, as verified in a pilot test. Study 1 then used a simple categorization task and found evidence for implicit self-importance: The pronoun “you” was categorized more quickly and accurately when presented in a larger font size, whereas the pronoun “me” was categorized more quickly and accurately when presented in a smaller font size. Study 2 showed that this pattern possesses value in understanding individual differences in interpersonal functioning. As predicted, arrogant people scored higher in implicit self-importance in the paradigm. Findings are discussed from the perspective of dyadic interpersonal dynamics.