Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Corey L. GuentherEmail author
  • Abigail Laudi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1156-1



Self-appraisal is the process by which people evaluate their traits, abilities, attitudes, behavioral tendencies, and outcomes in the service of constructing and maintaining identity.


The self and identity literature is rich with empirical evidence regarding the processes by which people appraise the self and construct a sense of identity. The current article provides a brief overview of this literature by first discussing the different roles played by distinct motivational influences on the self-appraisal process, specifically, the distinct roles of self-assessment, self-verification, and self-enhancement. Next, the distinction between instrumental and social self-analysisis introduced in order to highlight the unique contributions to the self-appraisal process made by self-focused interpretations of (1) one’s own thoughts, feelings, and behavior and (2) interpersonal or social comparison feedback. Particular emphasis...


Social Comparison Positive Life Event Comparison Target Social Comparison Theory Downward Comparison 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Creighton UniversityOmahaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada