Self-discrepancies and the perceptions of others



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Texas Tech University


Self-discrepancies between the actual self/ideal self and actual self/ought self are associated with different types of negative affect (dejection and agitation). It is proposed that each of the discrepancy types can affect our impression formation abilities. Specifically, four different discrepancies were examined to determine their abilities to affect impression formation. It was hypothesized that participants who experienced dejection-related discrepancies (actual/ideal) would view targets as more dejected while participants experiencing agitation-related discrepancies (actual/ought) would view targets as more agitated. It was also hypothesized that participants would view targets experiencing the same discrepancy as the participant along more extreme dimensions. Participants were asked to complete a portion of the Selves Questionnaire and then make judgments about several people experiencing a similar or different discrepancy. Results indicate that people can infer emotional states from different discrepancy types, which does affect our impression formation abilities. These results are discussed in terms of the "affect as information" approach and mood congruency.



Personality and cognition, Cognitive styles, Theory of self-knowledge, Personality and situation