Do Autonomous Individuals Strive for Self-Positivity? Examining the Role of Autonomy in the Expression of Self-Enhancement
Self and Identity
In an effort to further understand factors that influence the expression of self-enhancement, two studies explored the association between autonomy motivation and self-enhancement motivation. We hypothesized that autonomy is positively associated with approach-oriented self-enhancement strategies and negatively associated with avoidance-oriented self-enhancement strategies, and that self-enhancement would mediate the association between autonomy and psychological well-being. In Study 1, participants completed a measure of self-enhancement strategies and a measure of autonomy. Autonomy was positively associated with approach-oriented—but negatively associated with avoidance-oriented—self-enhancement strategies. In Study 2, participants completed the same measures of autonomy and self-enhancement, plus measures of psychological well-being. In addition to replicating the findings of Study 1, the mediation analyses suggested that autonomy was positively associated with psychological well-being through approach-oriented self-enhancement, and negatively associated with psychological well-being through avoidance-oriented self-enhancement.
Taylor and Francis
Self-enhancement, Autonomy, Self-esteem, Psychological well-being, Self-determination theory
Lynch, Bridget Petersen and O'Mara, Erin M., "Do Autonomous Individuals Strive for Self-Positivity? Examining the Role of Autonomy in the Expression of Self-Enhancement" (2015). Psychology Faculty Publications. 45.