You Call It ‘Self-Exuberance,’ I Call It ‘Bragging.’ Miscalibrated Predictions of Emotional Responses to Self-Promotion

34 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2014 Last revised: 3 Dec 2014

See all articles by Irene Scopelliti

Irene Scopelliti

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

George Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Joachim Vosgerau

Bocconi University

Date Written: November 26, 2014

Abstract

People engage in self-promotional behavior because they want others to hold favorable images of them. Self-promotion, however, entails a tradeoff between conveying one’s positive attributes and being seen as bragging. We propose that people get this tradeoff wrong because they erroneously project their own feelings onto their interaction partners. As a consequence, people overestimate the extent to which recipients of their self-promotion will feel proud of and happy for them, and underestimate the extent to which recipients will feel annoyed (Experiment 1 and 2). Because people tend to self-promote excessively when trying to make a favorable impression on others, such efforts often backfire, causing targets of the self-promotion to view the self-promoter as less likeable and as a braggart (Experiment 3).

Suggested Citation

Scopelliti, Irene and Loewenstein, George F. and Vosgerau, Joachim, You Call It ‘Self-Exuberance,’ I Call It ‘Bragging.’ Miscalibrated Predictions of Emotional Responses to Self-Promotion (November 26, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2502012 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2502012

Irene Scopelliti (Contact Author)

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

George F. Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-8787 (Phone)
412-268-6938 (Fax)

Joachim Vosgerau

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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