Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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


  • Cristina Maroiu
  • Laurentiu P. MaricutoiuEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1503-1



The term “self-discrepancies” refers to the presence of incompatible or conflicting beliefs about one’s self, with negative consequences on the person’s well-being. Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins 1989) describes how individuals are likely to experience discomfort when they are holding conflicting or incompatible beliefs about themselves. Moreover, the type of discrepant self-representations explains the kind of discomfort or unpleasant feelings.

Self-Discrepancy Theory

There was no doubt that a person’s concept of itself is a primary source of emotional-motivational difficulties. Still, it is unclear why some people suffer from dejection-related problems (e.g., sadness or disappointment), while others are predisposed to agitation-related problems (e.g., fear or restlessness). The self-discrepancy theory addressed the individual differences problem, by creating a general framework useful to predict...

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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