Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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

Actual Self

  • Cristina Măroiu
  • Laurențiu P. Maricuțoiu
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1435-1

Definition of the Actual Self

The term actual self was introduced by Tory Higgins in 1987, as part of his self-discrepancy theory. From this perspective, the actual self is a cognitive structure (cognitive schemata, or representation) that contains all attributes that a person believes that are self-descriptive. These self-descriptive attributes are not necessarily issued by the owner of the actual self; they also can be issued by other people. For example, if I believe that I am a punctual person, then punctuality is part of my actual self. Similarly, if my colleagues describe me as being punctual and I am aware of this description, then punctuality is an attribute contained in my actual self. In conclusion, the actual self is a cognitive structure (or schemata, or representation) that includes all self-describing attributes that a person is aware of, regardless whether these characteristics resulted from self-evaluations or evaluations provided by others.

Similar Terms: the True Self

Keywords

Cognitive Structure Negative Information Individualistic Culture Online Interaction External Contingency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bargh, J. A., McKenna, K. Y., & Fitzsimons, G. M. (2002). Can you see the real me? Activation and expression of the “true self” on the Internet. Journal of Social Issues, 58(1), 33–48. doi:10.1111/1540-4560.00247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bessière, K., Seay, A. F., & Kiesler, S. (2007). The ideal elf: Identity exploration in world of Warcraft. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 530–535. doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Crocker, J., & Wolfe, C. T. (2001). Contingencies of self-worth. Psychological Review, 108(3), 593–623. doi:10.1037//0033-295X.108.3.593.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gardner, W. L., Avolio, B. J., Luthans, F., May, D. R., & Walumbwa, F. (2005). “can you see the real me?” A self-based model of authentic leader and follower development. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), 343–372. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hardin, E. E., & Lakin, J. L. (2009). The integrated self-discrepancy index: A reliable and valid measure of self-discrepancies. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(3), 245–253. doi:10.1080/00223890902794291.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94(3), 319–340. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.94.3.319.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Higgins, E. T., Klein, R., & Strauman, T. (1985). Self-concept discrepancy theory: A psychological model for distinguishing among different aspects of depression and anxiety. Social Cognition, 3(1), 51–76. doi:10.1521/soco.1985.3.1.51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hoge, D. R., & McCarthy, J. D. (1983). Issues of validity and reliability in the use of real–ideal discrepancy scores to measure self-regard. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(5), 1048–1055. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.44.5.1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98(2), 224–253. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Paulhus, D. L., & John, O. P. (1998). Egoistic and moralistic biases in self-perception: The interplay of self-deceptive styles with basic traits and motives. Journal of Personality, 66(6), 1025–1060. doi:10.1111/1467-6494.00041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Robins, G., & Boldero, J. (2003). Relational discrepancy theory: The implications of self-discrepancy theory for dyadic relationships and for the emergence of social structure. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7(1), 56–74. doi:10.1207/S15327957PSPR0701_4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Rogers, C. (1951). Client-centered therapy. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
  13. Schmitt, D. P., & Allik, J. (2005). Simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg self-esteem scale in 53 nations: Exploring the universal and culture-specific features of global self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(4), 623–642. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.89.4.623.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Sirgy, M. J., Grewal, D., & Mangleburg, T. (2000). Retail environment, self-congruity, and retail patronage: An integrative model and a research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 49(2), 127–138. doi:10.1016/S0148-2963(99)00009-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest University of TimișoaraTimișoaraRomania

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ilan Dar-Nimrod
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia