Dual-promotion: Bragging Better by Promoting Peers

41 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2022

See all articles by Eric VanEpps

Eric VanEpps

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

Einav Hart

Donald G. Costello College of Business at George Mason University; University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Date Written: June 3, 2022

Abstract

To receive credit and to create favorable impressions, individuals need to share information about their past accomplishments. Claiming credit to demonstrate competence, however, can harm perceptions of warmth and likability. In fact, prior work has conceptualized self-promotion as a hydraulic challenge: tactics that boost perceptions along one dimension (e.g., competence) harm perceptions along the other dimensions (e.g., warmth). In this work, we identify a novel approach to self-promotion: We show that by combining other-promotion (promoting others) and self-promotion, which we term “dual-promotion”, individuals can project both warmth and competence to make better impressions on observers. In two pre-registered pilot studies, including annual reports from members of Congress and an interactive lab study, we demonstrate that even when motivated to create a favorable impression, people rely heavily upon self-promotion. Yet across four experiments using workplace and political contexts (N = 1,510, pre-registered), we show that individuals who engage in dual-promotion consistently create more favorable impressions than those who only engage in self-promotion, an effect mediated by enhanced perceptions of both warmth and competence. These benefits also extend to behavioral intentions. In addition, we show that regardless of what colleagues and peers do, dual-promotion creates more favorable impressions than self-promotion, suggesting that sharing credit can be an optimal strategy across a variety of contexts.

Keywords: Self-promotion, Bragging, Credit sharing, Communication strategies, Open science

JEL Classification: D01, D03, D74, D81, D84

Suggested Citation

VanEpps, Eric and Hart, Einav and Schweitzer, Maurice E., Dual-promotion: Bragging Better by Promoting Peers (June 3, 2022). George Mason University School of Business Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4128132 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4128132

Eric VanEpps

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Einav Hart (Contact Author)

Donald G. Costello College of Business at George Mason University ( email )

Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://einavh.art

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://EinavH.art

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-4776 (Phone)
215-898-3664 (Fax)

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