The Hubris Hypothesis: You can self-enhance, but you’d better not show it. (2012)
“…participants disliked individuals who communicated self-superiority beliefs explicitly. Such self-superiority beliefs may not create the same reaction when disguised as non-comparative positive self-claims or self-improvement claims.
Vera Hoorens and Mario Pandelaere, University of Leuven
Frans Oldersma, Onderzoek & Statistiek Groningen
Constantine Sedikides, University of Southampton
Journal of Personality 80:5, October 2012
Most people feel their traits and abilities are superior to those of others. We tend to think that our relationships are better, our future holds more promise, our emotional life is more intense and our personality is richer than others’.
However, little is known about the interpersonal consequences of self-superiority claims.
The researchers tested if and why observers dislike individuals who convey self-superiority through blatant social comparison (“I am better than others”). This is their ‘hubris hypothesis’.
They found that claims for self-superiority generally elicited unfavourable evaluations, usually because the claim implied a negative view of others, in particular, the observer.
Supporting the hubris hypothesis, participants disliked individuals who communicated self-superiority beliefs in an explicitly comparative manner. However, such self-superiority beliefs may not create the same reaction when they are disguised as non-comparative positive self-claims or self-improvement claims.
Access the full paper here: Hubris Hypothesis