Dual-promotion: Bragging Better by Promoting Peers
41 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2022
Date Written: June 3, 2022
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: Suggested Citation