Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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

Self-Discrepancies

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

Synonyms

Introduction

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Crane, C., Barnhofer, T., Duggan, D. S., Hepburn, S., Fennell, M. V., & Williams, J. M. G. (2008). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and self-discrepancy in recovered depressed patients with a history of depression and suicidality. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(6), 775–787. doi:10.1007/s10608-008-9193-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dittmar, H. (2005). A new look at “compulsive buying”: Self-discrepancies and materialistic values as predictors of compulsive buying tendency. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24(6), 832–859. doi:10.1521/jscp.2005.24.6.832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 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
  4. Hartmann, M. M., Sundag, J., & Lincoln, T. M. (2014). Are self-other discrepancies a unique risk factor for paranoid symptoms? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38(1), 62–70. doi:10.1007/s10608-013-9583-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 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
  6. Higgins, E. T. (1989). Self-discrepancy theory: What patterns of self-beliefs cause people to suffer? Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 93–136. doi:10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60306-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Higgins, E. T. (1997). Beyond pleasure and pain. American Psychologist, 52(12), 1280–1300. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.52.12.1280.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Higgins, E. T. (1998). Promotion and prevention: Regulatory focus as a motivational principle. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 30(C), 1–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60381–0.Google Scholar
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image (Vol. 11, p. 326). Princeton: Princeton university press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Scott, L., & O’hara, M. W. (1993). Self-discrepancies in clinically anxious and depressed university students. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102(2), 282–287. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.102.2.282.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Strauman, T. J., Kolden, G. G., Stromquist, V., Davis, N., Kwapil, L., Heerey, E., & Schneider, K. (2001). The effects of treatments for depression on perceived failure in self-regulation. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 25(6), 693–712. doi:10.1023/A:1012915205800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Veale, D., Kinderman, P., Riley, S., & Lambrou, C. (2003). Self-discrepancy in body dysmorphic disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42(Pt 2), 157–169. doi:10.1348/014466503321903571.CrossRefPubMedGoogle 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