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Impressions of Self-Directed Action

Lory Britt and David R. Heise
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 335-350
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786951
Page Count: 16
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Impressions of Self-Directed Action
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Abstract

This study examined the impressions that are created when individuals direct activity toward the self (e.g., the widow pampered herself). Ratings of evaluation, potency, and activity (EPA) for 256 combinations of identity and self-directed behavior were regressed on EPA measurements of the component identities and behaviors. The prediction equations show that actors and behaviors involved in self-directed activity generally seem less good, less powerful, and less active than before the event; a decline in potency is the largest effect. Specific outcomes, however, are influenced by the character of the actor, by the behavior, and by interactions between the two. Females and males develop impressions of self-directed action in the same ways, but tentative findings suggest that female actors are processed somewhat differently from male actors and that impressions of one's own self-directed action may differ from impressions of others'.

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